Oral surgery in liver transplant candidates: a retrospective study on delayed bleeding and other complications

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Abstract

Objective.

Untreated dental infections pose a threat for immunocompromised liver transplant (LT) recipients. Therefore, pretransplant dental evaluations are recommended. However, risk of bleeding should be considered among patients with end-stage liver disease, and prophylactic blood transfusions may be used to prevent bleeding. We performed a retrospective study of the incidence of and risk factors for oral surgery–related bleeding in candidates for LT and hypothesized that complications may occur despite preoperative and perioperative hemostatic actions.

Study Design.

One hundred thirty-four patients who had tooth extractions performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons before LT were studied. The primary endpoint was bleeding between 24 hours and 2 weeks after extraction. Bleeding risk was analyzed by preoperative platelet (PLT) count and international normalized ratio (INR). Invasiveness of procedures, severity of liver disease, PLT, INR, prophylactic transfusions of PLT, fresh frozen plasma, and tranexamic acid (TA) were included in univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to further assess risk.

Results.

Twelve patients exhibited minor bleeding; four despite PLT >100 × 109/L and INR <1.5. Increased bleeding associated with INR and prophylactic transfusions by univariate analysis; by multivariate analyses, prophylactic TA (odds ratio [OR] = 8.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7-37.0), and PLT (OR = 8.3; 95% CI 1.1-62.7) remained significant.

Conclusions.

Most extractions were safe, but prophylactic transfusions did not ensure adequate hemostasis. Local hemostatic measures and close follow-up are warranted.

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