By Ann Haran, AASLD Staff
The Liver Transplantation and Surgery Special Interest Group (SIG) looks forward to the debut of an exciting new listserv that will allow its members to exchange ideas about clinical cases that are unusual or raise interesting, timely questions. The listserve, named LSTServ, is an email based forum geared towards liver transplant professionals, particularly transplant surgeons and transplant hepatologists. As SIG Chair Sandy Feng, MD, PhD, points out, a similar mechanism currently exists in the nephrology community, allowing transplant nephrologists to discuss kidney focused issues and inquiries; this new forum will provide liver transplant specialists with a similar opportunity.
Dr. Feng describes LSTServ as an “email based community pathway” to which surgeons may turn “for advice on uncommon clinical situations.” Once an email is submitted, it will be reviewed by a SIG steering committee member monitoring the forum and, once approved, will be distributed to all LSTServ members. Any responses that are sent will be shared with all LSTServ members. All communication will be housed on the AASLD website, serving to create a valuable clinical resource as it will be searchable. The system is currently being edited and tested, with hopes of the LSTServ being up and running by the end of this month. Initially, access will be limited to members of the Liver Transplantation and Surgery SIG. It is anticipated that the opportunity will soon be extended to all transplant surgeons and transplant hepatologists who are AASLD members. The success of this new venture will be measured by the amount of usage; however, having a large number of subscribers is not necessarily a goal, as the questions posed will be focused on liver transplantation-related topics, with hopes of encouraging experts to connect and form a community. This may also be an excellent communication tool for other communities of experts to interact and engage each other over clinical challenges.
In addition to rolling out the LSTServ, the Liver Transplantation and Surgery SIG is proud to announce two exciting programs that will be presented this fall at The Liver Meeting® 2010. The Annual Transplant Workshop, entitled “Donation After Cardiac Death (DCD) Liver Transplantation: Optimizing Techniques and Outcomes” will "investigate cutting edge approaches to optimizing outcomes for DCD liver transplantation,” explains Dr. Feng. Under the leadership of Course Directors David Reich, MD, and Johnny Hong, MD, the workshop will include a number of distinguished speakers from high volume DCD centers as well as representatives from various centers who will discuss specific “innovations that they have implemented at their center and their impact on outcomes,” says Dr. Feng. The Transplant Workshop will be held Saturday, October 30, from noon to 3:30 pm.
The second Liver Transplantation and Surgery SIG Program, entitled “Transplantation of Small for Size Liver Grafts: The Left Lobe Challenge” will focus on this extremely challenging mode of living donor liver transplantation. It is believed that left lobe procurement mitigates the risk faced by healthy living donors. However, left lobe liver transplants have had limited success for the recipient because of reduced graft volumes. This program is being organized by John Roberts, MD, and Elizabeth Pomfret, MD, PhD, and will bring together worldwide experts to “better understand the important determinants of outcomes for left lobe transplantation and strategies to optimize results” according to Dr. Feng. This SIG Program will take place Saturday, October 30, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.