High peak alanine aminotransferase determines extra risk for nonanastomotic biliary strictures after liver transplantation with donation after circulatory death

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Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) with donation after circulatory death (DCD) often leads to a higher first week peak alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and a higher rate of biliary nonanastomotic strictures (NAS) as compared to donation after brain death (DBD). This retrospective study was to evaluate whether an association exists between peak ALT and the development of NAS in OLT with livers from DBD (n = 399) or DCD (n = 97) from two transplantation centers. Optimal cutoff value of peak ALT for risk of development of NAS post-DCD-OLT was 1300 IU/l. The 4-year cumulative incidence of NAS after DCD-OLT was 49.5% in patients with a high ALT peak post-OLT, compared with 11.3% in patients with a low ALT peak. (P < 0.001). No relation between peak ALT and NAS was observed after DBD-OLT. Multivariate analysis revealed peak ALT ≥1300 IU/l [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 3.71, confidence interval (CI) (1.26–10.91)] and donor age [aHR = 1.04, CI 1.00–1.07] to be independently associated with development of NAS post-DCD-OLT. A peak ALT of <1300 IU/l carries a risk for NAS similar to DBD-OLT. Thus, in DCD-OLT, but not in DBD-OLT, peak ALT discriminates patients at high or low risk for NAS.

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