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Transpl Int. 1998;11 Suppl 1:S245-7.

Biliary reconstruction with or without an internal biliary stent in orthotopic liver transplantation: a prospective randomised trial.

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Liver Unit, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.


Choledochocholedochostomy (CCD) with a 7 fr/8 fr Cotton Leung internal biliary stent removed at endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) 3 months following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) was the technique used on our unit for biliary reconstruction. From June 1995 to July 1996, we randomised 37 OLT patients with CCDs to receive either an internal stent (group I, nd = 18) or no stent (group II, n = 19). Patients in group I had an ERC at 3 months for stent removal whereas patients in group II had an ERC if indicated. The mean follow up was 19 (13-26) months. Biliary complications occurred in 9 out of 18 patients in group 1 compared to 1 out of 19 patients in group II (P = 0.007). In group I, ERC was required for complications in 8 patients and early surgery in 2, compared to 1 ERC for abnormal liver function tests in group II. Five of the early complications in group I were stent related. Late biliary stenosis occurred in 1 patient at 9 months. There was one stent-related death. The use of stents contributes to biliary complications and CCD without stenting is safe after OLT.

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