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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2006 May;17(5):837-43.

Transhepatic dilation of anastomotic biliary strictures in liver transplant recipients with use of a combined cutting and conventional balloon protocol: technical safety and efficacy.

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  • 1Department of Imaging Sciences, Section of Vascular/Interventional Radiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.



To determine the safety and technical efficacy of a transhepatic dilation protocol involving the use of a combined cutting and conventional balloon protocol in the management of anastomotic biliary strictures in adult liver transplant recipients.


Retrospective review of adult transplant recipients undergoing transhepatic cutting balloon dilation for anastomotic biliary strictures was performed over a period of 8 months. Cutting balloon dilation was followed by conventional balloon dilation with use of a balloon with a diameter at least as large as that of the initial cutting balloon. Technically successful dilation was defined by improvement of the biliary stricture. A technically successful regimen was defined by a residual stenosis less than 30% after a maximum of three sessions. The technical results were stratified according to lesions treated for the first time and those with restenosis. Comparison among institutions in terms of published methods and technical results were made.


Twenty-two patients with liver transplants underwent 49 cutting balloon dilation sessions as part of 27 regimens (1.8 sessions per regimen): 12 cases of primary treatment, 10 cases of restenosis, four for intraprocedural failures of conventional balloon dilation, and one for the latter two indications. Technical success rates of regimens for primary stenoses, restenoses, and all cases were 100%, 90%, and 93%, respectively. These results compare favorably with historic intrainstitutional results, which are 89%, 73%, and 85% for primary stenoses, restenoses, and all cases, respectively. In addition, no biliary ruptures or cases of major hemobilia were encountered. Minor hemobilia was encountered in 10% of cases.


The use of commercially available cutting balloons augmented subsequently with larger conventional balloons is safe for transhepatic balloon dilation and can increase the technical success rate of percutaneous management of transplant biliary strictures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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