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Transplant Proc. 2005 Dec;37(10):4426-9.

Continuous transcatheter arterial thrombolysis for early hepatic artery thrombosis after liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Liver Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Liver Cancer Institute, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


Early hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) after orthotopic liver transplantation remains a significant cause of graft loss and patient death. The most effective treatment approach is still controversial. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of continuous transcatheter arterial thrombolysis in the treatment of early HAT. Routine posttransplant color Doppler imaging (CDI) was performed to monitor hepatic artery blood flow. HAT was confirmed by arterial angiography in suspected cases. HAT was identified in 8 patients (8/287, 2.8%) which occurred on days 2 to 19 (mean, 5.2 days) after liver transplantation. Patients with HAT were treated with continuous transcatheter arterial thrombolysis using urokinase. Successful revascularization through thrombolysis was obtained in all eight cases. One patient died of a pulmonary infection at 2 months after liver transplantation. Another patient underwent retransplantation because of resistant allograft rejection and recurrence of HAT 6 months after the first operation, but died from multiple system organ failure 2 months later. The other six patients remained in good health during the follow-up period of 3 to 27 months. Our results demonstrate that CDI is an effective method to monitor the occurrence of early HAT after liver transplantation. Furthermore, continuous transcatheter arterial thrombolysis with urokinase could be a rational therapeutic approach to rescue the allograft following early HAT diagnosis confirmed by arterial angiography.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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