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Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):1126-8.

Role of choledochojejunostomy in liver transplantation.

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Unit of Liver Transplantation, University of Campinas Medical School, Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil.



This study analyzes the efficacy and rate of complications related to Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy need either as the primary biliary reconstruction during orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) or to treat biliary complications.


One hundred seventy-seven transplantation procedures were performed from September 1991 to December 2003 in recipients of mean age 51.9 years. Patients were reviewed for the type of biliary reconstruction, the prevalence of biliary complications, and the choice of treatment for these complications. Duct-to-duct anastomosis (group CDC) was performed in 153 patients (85.6%), and choledochojejunostomy (group CDJ) in 24 patients (14.4%). Biliary complications, including stenosis, bile leakage, calculosis, and extensive biliary necrosis, required hospitalization, surgical interventions or endoscopic approaches. Biliary complications in the CDC group first were addressed by endoscopic treatments. When endoscopic therapy failed, they were approached by surgical reintervention. All biliary complications in group CDJ were surgically treated, namely, revision of the Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy. The chi square test was used to compare frequencies, with Yates correction when necessary; P values were considered significant at <.05. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to evaluate survival.


Fifty-eight (32.8%) biliary complications in 47 patients required endoscopic or surgical approaches. In group CDJ, 1 patient had bile leakage requiring surgical treatment. The prevalence of biliary complications was lower in the CDJ group than the CDC group (P < .05). Endoscopic treatment applied in 23 patients, failed in 11. Surgical approaches were performed in 11 patients after endoscopic failure, and in 13 patients as the first option to treat biliary complications. No failure was observed with surgical treatment. Cholangitis occurred in 3 patients who received surgical treatment and 4 patients who received endoscopic treatment. There was no statistically significant difference when comparing the mortality rates of the 3 types of treatment for biliary complications: endoscopy, surgery, and endoscopy followed by surgery. Survival rates were similar for the 3 types of treatment of biliary complications.


Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy is a useful tool to treat biliary complications after OLT, especially when endoscopic treatment fails. In our experience, the rate of complications directly related to this technique is significantly lower than common duct anestomosis, whether used for biliary reconstruction during OLT or for posttransplantation biliary complications.

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