Prediction of thromboembolic complications after liver resection for cholangiocarcinoma: is there a place for thromboelastometry?

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Postoperative venous thromboembolism has a poor prognosis in patients with cancer. We aimed to investigate the utility of thromboelastometry in detecting the risk of postoperative venous thromboembolism in patients with cholangiocarcinoma. We prospectively included patients submitted to liver resection for cholangiocarcinoma at our hospital between May 2011 and July 2014. Patients undergoing major hepatectomy for adult living donor transplantation in the same time period served as a control group. Thromboelastometry was performed before anesthesia. Postoperative venous thrombotic events were recorded in the 6 months after surgery. Twenty-seven patients with cholangiocarcinoma and 17 living-donor liver transplantation patients were included. Maximum clot firmness and its derivative parameter G, pointed to hypercoagulability in patients with cholangiocarcinoma, whereas all parameters were within normal ranges in controls. Six postoperative thrombotic events were recorded: four portal vein thrombosis and two deep venous thrombosis, all in patients with cholangiocarcinoma. Patients with cholangiocarcinoma who displayed thrombotic complications showed a nonsignificant trend to more pronounced hypercoagulability compared with those without. The results suggest that first, in patients with cholangiocarcinoma, despite standard thromboprophylaxis, thrombotic events remain a substantial problem, and, second, thromboelastometry may be useful in identifying patients with cholangiocarcinoma at risk of postoperative venous thromboembolism. Large prospective studies are warranted to confirm these results.

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