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Transpl Int. 1998;11(2):123-6.

Infection rates with and without T-tube splintage of common bile duct anastomosis in liver transplantation.

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  • 1Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplantation Unit, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London, UK.


Stenting the bile duct over a T-tube after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is the preferred method of biliary reconstruction. However, because of complications associated with the use of the T-tube, we evaluated the effect of various biliary anastomoses following 100 consecutive OLT (83 records were available for long-term evaluation) and assessed the clinical outcome of abandoning routine T-tube splintage. Of 16 OLT recipients with T-tube splintage (one died immediately following OLT and was excluded from the study), 6 patients (40%) developed six episodes of septicaemia secondary to biliary and/or intra-abdominal sepsis. Four of these six patients had a biliary leak (27%). Of 57 patients with duct-to-duct anastomosis without T-tube splintage, 7 patients developed biliary leak (12.3%) and only 1 developed septicaemia (1.7%) secondary to biliary and intra-abdominal sepsis (P = 0.0002). Of 11 patients with either a gallbladder conduit or Roux loop, only 1 patient had a biliary leak (9%) and there were no septicaemic episodes. In conclusion, direct duct-to-duct anastomosis resulted in significantly less morbidity due to infection without T-tube splintage than the use of a T-tube following OLT, but there were no significant differences in leakage and stricture rates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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