Bile duct strictures after liver transplantation

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Purpose of reviewBiliary complications account for relevant morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation. Advances have taken place in understanding their aetiology, in preventive operative techniques, imaging procedures, as well as interventional and endoscopic management. However, progress in living donation, donation after cardiac death as well as paediatric transplant procedures have changed the incidence and causes of biliary complications. This review summarizes recent progress in the field, particularly related to biliary strictures after liver transplantation.Recent findingsSignificant findings in the period of interest for this review focussed on improvements of endoscopic treatment of postliver transplant biliary complications, including novel stenting devices, the routine analysis of bacterial and fungal flora, and the use of steroids to prevent postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography pancreatitis. The importance of cytomegalovirus and hepatitis C in the aetiology of biliary complications was highlighted. Under certain circumstances, biliary complications after liver transplantation of organs secondary to donation after cardiac death may be reduced to a level known from liver transplantation after brain death. Further evidence was added to support the risk-adapted use of biliary drainage during liver transplantation.SummaryThe ongoing research in the aetiology, prevention, and treatment of biliary strictures after liver transplantation highlights the significance of biliary complications for patient and graft outcome.

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