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Radiology. 2012 Nov;265(2):617-26. doi: 10.1148/radiol.12112042. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Obstruction at middle hepatic venous tributaries in modified right lobe grafts after living-donor liver Transplantation: diagnosis with contrast-enhanced US.

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Department of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, and Department of Radiology, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate the ability of contrast material-enhanced ultrasonography (US) to help diagnose obstruction of middle hepatic venous (MHV) tributaries soon after living-donor liver transplantation with modified right lobe grafts.


The institutional review board approved the study and waived requirement for informed consent. Sixty-five consecutive patients (48 men, 17 women; mean age, 52.8 years; range, 33-69 years) who underwent living-donor liver transplantation with modified right lobe grafts between February and May 2009 were included. All patients underwent contrast-enhanced US and Doppler US on postoperative day 1 and underwent computed tomography (CT) within 7 days after US. At contrast-enhanced US, parenchymal enhancement patterns in the territory of each MHV tributary during arterial and portal venous phases were evaluated. With use of most frequent enhancement patterns in patients with obstruction at MHV tributaries as a criterion, diagnostic performance of contrast-enhanced US was compared with that of Doppler US for diagnosis of obstruction at MHV tributaries; CT was the reference standard. Generalized estimating equations were used to adjust for data clustering.


Of 148 MHV tributaries in 65 patients, 36 (24.3%) in 31 patients were diagnosed as obstructed at CT. With arterial high echogenicity or portal low echogenicity used as a criterion for hepatic venous obstruction, contrast-enhanced US had sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 91% (33 of 36), 97% (109 of 112), and 95% (142 of 148), respectively, whereas Doppler US had values of 83% (30 of 36), 86% (97 of 112), and 85% (127 of 148), respectively. Contrast-enhanced US was significantly more specific and accurate than Doppler US for diagnosis of obstruction at MHV tributaries (P=.024 and .01, respectively). Arterial high echogenicity was noted only in the hepatic venous obstruction group.


Contrast-enhanced US can help accurately assess hepatic venous obstruction at MHV tributaries after living-donor liver transplantation with a modified right lobe graft. Contrast-enhanced US was significantly more specific than Doppler US, with arterial hyperenhancement in the affected area being specific to hepatic venous obstruction.

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