Liver Transplant Program and Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Niao-Sung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 833.
The success of liver transplantation worldwide has brought increased demand for the liver graft. Western and Asian countries have coped differently with the problems of the shortages in organ donation. In the West, efforts have focused on promoting deceased donor organ donation, whereas in Asia the focus has been on living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), as this procedure is more acceptable in most Asian cultures. LDLT, which was initially devised for paediatric liver transplant patients, has evolved from using a left lobe graft to a right lobe graft for an adult recipient. To widen the donor pool, dual grafts for a single recipient have been used in LDLT, and donors with hepatitis B core antibody positivity have been accepted, as well as ABO incompatible donors and recipients. The great advances in the field of LDLT have been dictated by the needs and the norms of Asian society. In this Perspectives article, we outline the reasons why LDLT flourishes in Asia.