Worldwide Reports

Safety and feasibility of elective liver resection in adult Jehovah's Witnesses: the Henri Mondor Hospital experience

Lim C | HPB (Oxford) |
Henri Mondor Hospital
Créteil, France


Elective liver resection (LR) in Jehovah’s Witness (JW) patients, for whom transfusion is not an option, involves complex ethical and medical issues and surgical difficulties.


Consecutive data from a LR program for liver tumors in JWs performed between 2014 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. A systematic review of the literature with a pooled analysis was performed.


Ten patients were included (median age = 61 years). None needed preoperative erythropoietin. Tumor biopsy was not performed. Major hepatectomy was performed in 4 patients. The median estimated blood loss was 200 mL. A cell-saver was installed in 2 patients, none received saved blood. The median hemoglobin values before and at the end of surgery were 13.4 g/dL and 12.6 g/dL, respectively (p = 0.04). Nine complications occurred in 4 patients, but no postoperative hemorrhage occurred. In-hospital mortality was nil. Nine studies including 35 patients were identified in the literature; there was reported no mortality and low morbidity. None of the patients were transfused.


By using a variety of blood conservation techniques, the risk/benefit ratio of elective liver resection for liver was maintained in selected adult JW patients. JW faith should not constitute an absolute exclusion from hepatectomy.

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