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Radiology. 1990 Oct;177(1):259-63.

Hilar biliary strictures after liver transplantation: cholangiography and percutaneous treatment.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.


Nonanastomotic hilar bile duct strictures developed in 16 of 152 patients who underwent liver transplantation. The type of pretransplantation liver disease did not significantly affect the likelihood of hilar stricture formation. Possible causes of hilar biliary strictures include hepatic artery occlusion, ductopenic arteriopathic rejection, and cytomegalovirus infection; however, five of the 16 patients had hilar strictures without these complications. Hilar strictures developed within 3 months after transplantation in 11 of the 16 patients. Strictures began as a slight common hepatic duct irregularity and progressed to mucosal cast formation and later to firm strictures. Fifteen of the 16 patients underwent percutaneous stricture dilation. Of 12 patients who no longer have stents, four have had no stricture recurrence for 12-30 months. Eight patients have had to undergo retransplantation or have died. Percutaneous dilations were most likely to result in patient bile ducts if strictures developed within 3 months after transplantation and in the absence of pretransplantation primary sclerosing cholangitis, ductopenic arteriopathic rejection, cytomegalovirus infection, or hepatic artery thrombosis.

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