Vascular complications after orthotopic liver transplantation

Alan N. Langnas, Wagner Marujo, Robert J. Stratta, R. Patrick Wood, Byers W. Shaw

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405 Scopus citations


Over a 57-month period, we performed 430 orthotopic liver transplants in 372 patients. A total of 38 vascular complications were identified including hepatic artery thrombosis (n = 24), portal vein thrombosis (n = 6), combined hepatic artery thrombosis/portal vein thrombosis (n = 3), and hepatic artery rupture (n = 5). A number of potential risk factors for the development of vascular thrombosis were evaluated with only children, weight less than 10 kg, and cold ischemia time found to be significant. The clinical presentation included fulminant hepatic failure, allograft dysfunction, biliary sepsis, and screening ultrasound. Duplex ultrasonography was diagnostic in nearly all cases. Therapeutic modalities included revascularization, revascularization followed by retransplantation, retransplantation alone, and observation. Five cases of hepatic artery rupture occurred in four patients. Infectious arteritis was present in four patients. The 6-month actuarial survival in patients with vascular complications was 70%. Early diagnosis is critical for graft salvage, with surgical intervention the mainstay of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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