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S Afr J Surg. 1997 May;35(2):77-81.

The management of biliary complications following orthotopic liver transplantation.

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1
MRC/UCT Liver Research Centre, Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Review of the biliary complications following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) at our institution, and their management and outcome.

DESIGN:

Retrospective study of medical records of 63 patients who underwent 68 transplant operations.

SETTING:

The Liver Transplant Unit, Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town

PATIENTS:

Six patients treated for 9 biliary complications.

INTERVENTIONS:

Reoperation with biliary reconstruction, or non-operative measures by either endoscopic retrograde pancreatography (ERCP) or percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC).

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Clinical outcome and survival following treatment for biliary complications.

RESULTS:

Biliary complications occurred in 8.8% of patients who underwent transplantation at our institution. These consisted of strictures in 4 patients (with leak in 2), bile leak in 1 patient, and unsuspected primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) of the recipient duct in 1 patient. The mean time interval of biliary complications following OLT was 8 weeks (range 3-16). Biliary reconstruction was required in 4 patients while 2 patients were treated by endoscopic stenting. After a mean follow-up period of 30 months (range 1-64), 4 patients remained stable, 1 patient developed progressive stricturing of the intrahepatic ducts requiring repeated PTC dilatations, and 1 patient experienced stent blockages requiring endoscopic stent changes (died of unrelated causes).

CONCLUSIONS:

The rate of biliary complications following OLT at our institution compares favourably with literature reports. While biliary reconstruction is usually needed, endoscopic stenting appears effective in selected cases of biliary stricture and leak. PSC should be excluded prior to transplantation in young patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis.

PMID:
9267176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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