Send to

Choose Destination
Endoscopy. 2000 Dec;32(12):943-9.

Efficacy of endoscopic management of anastomotic biliary strictures after hepatic transplantation.

Author information

Division of Digestive Diseases, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612-3824, USA.



Anastomotic biliary strictures are the most common cause of biliary obstruction following liver transplantation. We studied the efficacy and safety of endoscopic management of anastomotic strictures retrospectively.


A stricture at choledocho-choledochal anastomosis was identified in 30 of 354 sequential adult liver-transplant recipients at our institution. Balloon dilation was performed in 29 patients and a stent was inserted across the anastomotic stricture in one patient at initial endoscopy. A total of nine patients did not require further treatment; ten had repeated dilation (median 2). A stent was placed for persistent anastomotic stricture in six patients and for other indications in four patients. Outcomes studied were improvement in cholestasis, stricture diameter, and need for surgical treatment. Safety of therapy was assessed with nature and number of procedural complications.


The median serum bilirubin level decreased from 3.25 mg/dl to 1.1 mg/dl (P < 0.001) and median alkaline phosphatase decreased from 451.5 IU/l to 125 IU/l (P = 0.001) following endoscopic therapy. Cholestasis improved in 26 of 30 patients with therapy. Of the remainder, three of three patients with concurrent nonanastomotic strictures and one patient with anastomotic stricture and histologic evidence of rejection showed worsening cholestasis at follow-up. Stricture diameter improved from a median of 2.5 mm to 7 mm (P < 0.001). Median follow-up was 17.9 months from the last therapeutic endoscopy. Five treatable, nonlethal complications occurred after 77 procedures. None of the patients required surgery for anastomotic stricture during a follow-up period up to 58 months.


Endoscopic management offers effective and safe treatment for posttransplantation anastomotic biliary strictures and avoids the need for surgical intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, New York
Loading ...
Support Center