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J Pediatr Surg. 2001 Jun;36(6):888-91.

Survival and outcome after hepatic artery thrombosis complicating pediatric liver transplantation.

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  • 1Liver Transplantation Surgical Service, Paediatric Liver Service, and Department of Radiology, King's College Hospital, London, England.



Hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) represents a significant cause of graft loss and mortality after pediatric orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). The incidence and etiology of this complication have been investigated in detail but relatively little is known about outcome.


A review was conducted of all children with confirmed HAT complicating OLT during a 10-year period (1990 through 1999) in a single center. HAT was established by angiography or at operation in all cases.


From a consecutive series of 400 pediatric OLTs, there were 31 (7.8%) instances of HAT in 29 children of median age 3.8 years (range, 8 days to 16 years). Twenty-four (83%) are alive after a median follow-up of 3.6 years. Fourteen cases occurred after transplantation of whole grafts and 17 after reduced or split livers. Of the 18 episodes resulting in retransplantation, there were 5 deaths and 2 second episodes of HAT; surviving children are alive with good graft function. Of the 13 episodes managed without retransplantation, 4 patients underwent attempted early revascularisation of the graft, which was successful in 2, and the remainder initially were treated conservatively. All 13 children are alive after a median follow-up of 4.1 years (range, 0.6 to 5.8), but 5 required radiologic or surgical intervention for biliary or septic complications; biochemical liver function is normal in 8, mildly abnormal in 3, and poor in 2. Retransplantation was less likely in those who had received reduced or split grafts (7 of 17) compared with those who had received whole grafts (11 of 14), but this difference just failed to reach statistical significance (chi(2) = 3.01, 0.1 > P > .05).


Using a selective policy of retransplantation, revascularisation, and conservative treatment, 83% of children survived HAT complicating OLT. Approximately 40% of children with HAT survived without retransplantation. J Pediatr Surg 36:888-891.

Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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