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Transplant Proc. 2013 Jul-Aug;45(6):2258-62. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.03.026.

Intraoperative fluid and pharmacologic management and the anesthesiologist's supervisory role for nontraditional technologies during liver transplantation: a survey of US academic centers.

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  • 1Tufts Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.



Volume resuscitation and use of vasoactive medications during liver transplantation has not been systematically assessed. Furthermore, the anesthesiologist's role for intraoperative oversight of technologies such as renal replacement therapy and procedures such as venovenous bypass is poorly defined, and it is unclear if the center's annual transplant frequency affects these practices.


We conducted a database analysis of the Liver Transplant Anesthesia Consortium survey 202 that addresses these questions. Data from US academic liver transplant anesthesia programs meeting inclusion criteria were included. Results were categorized by their annual transplant volume.


A representative sample of 66% of all eligible centers contributed to the results. Normal saline among crystalloids and albumin among colloids were the most frequently chosen maintenance and non-blood product volume expansion fluids, with little variation by center size. A large variety of vasoactive agents is routinely utilized across programs, with vasopressors as a cornerstone of hemodynamic support. Large programs seem to use less of these agents compared with lower volume centers.


Anesthesiologists are increasingly involved in oversight and management of intraoperative renal replacement therapies, venovenous bypass and cell saver devices with rising transplant frequency. This new insight may be indicative of skill sets needed by members of liver transplantation anesthesia teams and should be considered in curriculum design for hepatobiliary transplant anesthesia fellowships.

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