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Z Gastroenterol. 1999 Jan;37(1):13-20.

[Endoscopic therapy of ischemia-type biliary lesions in patients following orthotopic liver transplantation].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik, S. Hepatologie und Gastroenterologie und Zentrale Interdisziplinäre Endoskopie, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin.


Ischemic-type biliary lesions (ITBL) mainly induce stenoses in liver transplants causing cholestasis thus endangering the allograft. ERC enables distinction of ITBL from other differential diagnosis. From 1988 to 1998, 1,026 liver transplantations had been carried out at our clinic. 2.4% (25 out of 1,026) of liver transplanted patients were afflicted from ITBL. 60% (15 out of 25) of patients were endoscopically treated by means of sphincterotomy and balloon dilation. Furthermore, some patients needed extraction of calculi (n = 3), bile duct sequester (n = 6) or stenting (n = 4), respectively. Three patients suffered from ITBL type 1 (= only extrahepatic lesions) and five other patients were afflicted from ITBL type 2 (= circumscript intrahepatic lesions). 90% of those patients revealed long-term benefit from endoscopic therapy (follow-up to seven years). Another 15 patients elicited ITBL type 3 (= multiple intra- and extrahepatic lesions). Therefrom, nine patients had to be retransplanted directly while eight others were assigned to endoscopic treatment. Follow-up investigations revealed that retransplantation could be avoided in 50% of ITBL patients by means of endoscopic therapy for at least three years. In contrast, only 27% of ITBL patients could survive for more than three years without endoscopic therapy. Endoscopic success depends on localization and severity of ITBL complications in the biliary tract of the liver allograft. Therefore, benefit of endoscopic therapy depends on proper diagnosis as early as possible guiding further therapeutic strategy. Conclusively, endoscopic success enables maintenance of liver function in ITBL afflicted liver grafts and avoids or at least, delays retransplantation.

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