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HPB (Oxford). 2007;9(5):352-6. doi: 10.1080/13651820701599033.

Liver transplantation in adult patients with portal vein thrombosis: risk factors, management and outcome.

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  • 1Liver Transplantation Unit, Hospital Dr Cosme Argerich, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is a well recognized complication of patients with end-stage cirrhosis and its incidence ranges from 2 to 26%. The aim of this study was to analyze the results and long-term follow-up of a consecutive series of liver transplants performed in patients with PVT and compare them with patients transplanted without PVT.


Between July 1995 and June 2006, 26 liver transplants were performed in patients with PVT (8.7%). Risk factors and variables associated with the transplant and the post-transplant period were analyzed. A comparative analysis with 273 patients transplanted without PVT was performed.


The patients comprised 53.8% males, average age 40, 7 years. PVT was detected during surgery in 65%. Indications for transplantation were: post-necrotic cirrhosis 73%, cholestatic liver diseases 23%, and congenital liver fibrosis 4%. Child-Pugh C: 61.5%. Techniques were trombectomy in 21 patients with PVT grades I, II, IV, and extra-anatomical mesenteric graft in 5 with grade III. Morbidity was 57.7%, recurrence of PVT was 7.7%, and in-hospital mortality was 26.9%. Greater operative time, transfusion requirements, and re-operations were found in PVT patients. One-year survival was 59.6%: 75.2% for grade 1 and 44.8% for grades 2, 3, and 4.


The study demonstrated a PVT prevalence of 8.7%, a higher incidence of partial thrombosis (grade 1), and successful management of PVT grade 4 with thrombectomy. Liver transplant in PVT patients was associated with an increased operative time, transfusion requirements, re-interventions, and lower survival rate according to PVT extension.


liver transplantation; portal vein thrombosis; surgical management

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