Postoperative changes of liver enzymes can distinguish between biliary stricture and graft rejection after living donor liver transplantation: A longitudinal study

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Abstract

There is no known useful clinical parameter that can specifically predict a biliary stricture and differentiate it from other related complications after living donor liver transplantations (LDLT). The aims of this study were to determine whether the changes of liver enzymes can predict postoperative biliary stricture apart from other complications. We reviewed the medical records of 203 patients who underwent LDLT with duct to duct anastomosis from 2008 to 2010. The longitudinal changes of liver enzyme over time and the occurrence of complication were evaluated. A total of 124 patients had no complication up to 2 years after LDLT, and 74 patients had complications including biliary stricture and graft rejection. Complications developed more frequently in patients who's alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) did not return to the baseline plateau at 30 days after LDLT (ALP; P = .045, GGT; P = .047). Aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) increased continuously until the diagnosis of complication in both stricture and rejection groups with more rapid increase in enzymes in the rejection versus stricture group (P < .05). In addition, AST and ALT were 2-fold higher in the rejection than the stricture group at the diagnosis of each complication (AST; P < .05, ALT; P < .05). The increasing slope and final levels of AST and ALT are potentially helpful parameters to differentiate rejection and stricture, the 2 most common posttransplantation complications.

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