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eISSN: 2329-0358

Expanded Criteria Donor-Related Hyperkalemia and Postreperfusion Cardiac Arrest During Liver Transplantation: A Case Report and Literature Review

Liang Zhang, Ming Tian, Lin Wei, Zhijun Zhu

Department of Anesthesiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China (mainland)

Ann Transplant 2018; 23:450-456

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.909308

Available online:

Published: 2018-07-03

BACKGROUND: Liver transplantation (LT) using extended criteria donor (ECD) grafts is frequently associated with a high flush fluid potassium concentration (FFK) and acute hyperkalemia after reperfusion, which puts patients at greater risk of postreperfusion cardiac arrest (PRCA).
CASE REPORT: Herein, we present a case with an extremely high FFK that was successfully pretreated to avoid the risk of PRCA. A 3-year-old boy with biliary atresia underwent LT from a 623-g donation after brain death liver graft with localized frostbite on the right lobe surface. The FFK was 18.8 mmol/L after flushing with 1000 mL of 5% albumin. To prevent PRCA due to acute hyperkalemia, further portal vein (PV) flush, retrograde reperfusion via the inferior vena cava, and antegrade reperfusion via the PV were adopted to remove the excessive potassium ions. Ultimately, the liver graft was reperfused when the perfused blood potassium concentration was 7.5 mmol/L without subsequent development of PRCA during the immediate reperfusion period. Nevertheless, the patient still experienced vasoplegic syndrome during the late reperfusion period.
CONCLUSIONS: Our case illustrates that the FFK measurement is helpful for identifying ECD-related hyperkalemia and for providing advance warning of PRCA. Future investigations are warranted to confirm the relationship between high FFK and PRCA and to observe the effectiveness of other interventions to prevent PRCA due to ECD-related hyperkalemia.

Keywords: Heart Arrest, Induced, Hyperkalemia, Liver Transplantation, Pediatrics