Management of portal vein thrombosis in liver transplantation: influence on morbidity and mortality


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Abstract

BackgroundSplanchnic thrombosis is a surgical challenge in liver transplantation (LT). The aim of this study was to analyze our experience in the management of portal vein thrombosis, and its influence on evolution.AimThe aim of this study was to analyze our experience in the management of portal vein thrombosis, and its influence on evolution.Patients and methodsBetween 1999 and 2004, 366 liver transplants were performed in 335 patients. Forty-two patients [12.5%: portal vein thrombosis (PVT) group] had portal thrombosis at the time of LT. We analyzed the technical aspects and compared their evolution with a group of patients without portal thrombosis (n = 293; no-PVT group). Retransplantations were excluded.ResultsOf the 42 patients with thrombosis, 18 had partial thrombosis and 16 complete thrombosis [six included the proximal superior mesenteric vein (SMV) and in two the whole splanchnic system]. In 12 cases, usual T-T anastomosis was performed and in 16 cases a thrombectomy was carried out; there were five cases of anastomosis at confluence of the SMV, five cases of anastomosis to a collateral vein, three cases of venous graft, and one case of cavoportal hemitransposition. The operative time was higher in PVT group (417 ± 103 min vs. 363 ± 83; p = 0.0005), as RBC transfusion (2.4 ± 3.1 vs. 1.9 ± 2.3; p = 0.04), and hospital stay (20.9 ± 14.9 d vs. 15.1 ± 10.6; p = 0.002). However, there were no differences in hospital mortality (4% vs. 7.8%; p = 0.98), primary dysfunction (4.8% vs. 7.8%; p = 0.44), or three-yr-actuarial survival (75% vs. 77%; p = 0.95). The incidence of post-transplant thrombosis was higher in the PVT group (15% vs. 2.4%; p = 0.0005).ConclusionsPortal thrombosis is associated with greater operative complexity and rethrombosis, but has no influence on overall morbidity and mortality.

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