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Liver Transpl. 2009 Apr;15(4):369-80. doi: 10.1002/lt.21700.

Endoscopic treatment for biliary stricture after adult living donor liver transplantation.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Endoscopic intervention is considered to be the primary treatment for biliary stricture after adult living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) with duct-to-duct biliary reconstruction. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors of biliary stricture and the clinical outcomes and predictors of failure after endoscopic retrograde cholangiography with balloon dilation (ERC-D). We enrolled 239 adult patients who underwent LDLT between 2000 and 2006. Sixty-eight patients (28.4%) developed biliary stricture. Twenty-nine patients with anastomotic biliary stricture were treated with ERC-D and stenting. We retrospectively analyzed the risk factors of biliary stricture and the clinical outcomes of ERC-D. The median follow-up period was 31 months. The risk factors of biliary stricture on multiple logistic regression analysis were a graft with multiple bile ducts, a previous history of bile leakage, and hepatic artery stenosis. The overall success rate of ERC-D was 64.5%. On simple logistic regression, the failure of primary ERC-D was associated with late biliary stricture over 24 weeks and more than 8 weeks between a 2-fold increase of serum alkaline phosphatase from the stable level and ERC-D, even though these were not statistically significant on multiple logistic regression. The relapse rate of stricture after successful ERC-D was 30%. The duration of stenting in the recurrence group was shorter than that in the nonrecurrence group (11.8 +/- 5.03 versus 29.0 +/- 11.6 weeks, P = 0.004). ERC-D is effective for the management of anastomotic biliary stricture. However, the failure rate of primary ERC-D may be high in patients with late onset and delayed diagnosis of biliary stricture. The recurrence seems to occur frequently in patients with a short duration of stenting.

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