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Transplant Proc. 2004 Nov;36(9):2771-3.

Diagnosis and treatment of hepatic artery stenosis after orthotopic liver transplantation.

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Department of Oncology, Transplants and Advanced Technologies, Medicine-Division of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of Multidetector Computed Tomographic Angiography (MDCTA) to detect hepatic artery (HA) stenosis after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) and the efficacy of treatment using percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA).


Twenty-two consecutive patients with OLT underwent MDCTA for evaluation of HA, followed by digital subtraction angiography (DSA) (gold standard). Source images (Ax) were processed, obtaining multiplanar reformations (MPRs), maximum intensity projections (MIPs), and volume renderings (VRs). Images were evaluated to identify the following: (1) arterial depiction (celiac axis, anastomosis, and left [LHA] and right [RHA] HA), (2) detection of stenoses, and (3) grading of stenoses. Indications for PTA were set at MDCTA and DSA, and PTA was performed when appropriate.


MDCTA depicted the celiac axis and anastomoses in all patients; LHA and RHA were visualized in 21 of 22 patients with Ax, MPRs, and MIPs, and in 17 of 22 with VRs. All reconstruction modalities enabled correct diagnosis of celiac (n = 3) and anastomotic stenoses (n = 14). Of 6 LHA and RHA stenoses, 4 (66.7%) were visualized with Ax, MPRs, and VRs, and 5 (83.3%) were visualized with MIPs. Stenosis was overestimated in 9 (39.1%) cases with VRs and in 3 (13%) with the other modalities. PTA was performed in 8 cases, with 1 case of arterial dissection requiring re-OLT. At a median follow-up of 28 months, the primary and secondary patency rates were 71.4% (5 of 7) and 85.7% (6 of 7), respectively.


MDCTA and accurate postprocessing enable confident depiction of the arterial anatomy and detection of stenosis after OLT. PTA is safe and allows allograft saving, at least until another suitable donor becomes available.

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