BACKGROUND: Detailed profiles of acute hypothermia and electrocardiographic (ECG) manifestations of arrhythmogenicity were examined to analyze acute hypothermia and ventricular arrhythmogenic potential immediately after portal vein unclamping (PVU) in living-donor liver transplantation (LT). METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed electronically archived medical records (n = 148) of beat-to-beat ECG, arterial pressure waveforms, and blood temperature (BT) from Swan-Ganz catheters in patients undergoing living-donor LT. The ECG data analyzed were selected from the start of BT drop to the initiation of systolic hypotension after PVU. RESULTS: On reperfusion, acute hypothermia of < 34degrees C, < 33degrees C and < 32degrees C developed in 75.0%, 37.2% and 11.5% of patients, respectively. BT decreased from 35.0degrees C +/- 0.8degrees C to 33.3degrees C +/- 1.0degrees C (range 35.8degrees C-30.5degrees C). The median time to nadir of BT was 10 s after PVU. Difference in BT (DeltaBT) was weakly correlated with graft-recipient weight ratio (GRWR; r = 0.22, P = 0.008). Compared to baseline, arrhythmogenicity indices such as corrected QT (QTc), Tp-e (T wave peak to end) interval, and Tp-e/QTc ratio were prolonged (P < 0.001 each). ST height decreased and T amplitude increased (P < 0.001 each). However, no correlation was found between DeltaBT and arrhythmogenic indices. CONCLUSIONS: In living-donor LT, regardless of extent of BT drop, ventricular arrhythmogenic potential developed immediately after PVU prior to occurrence of systolic hypotension.