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Moritz Kleine, Kai Joahnning, Lampros Kousoulas, Harald Schrem, Frank Lehner, Hüseyin Bektas, Jürgen Klempnauer, Stephan Kaaden
Ann Transplant 2011; 16(4): 25-31
Background: Severe pulmonary complications following orthotopic liver transplantation are a major cause of postoperative deaths. Kinetic therapy (KT) has been reported to prevent and treat respiratory complications in selected critically ill patients, but little has been reported about the value of different criteria for the use of this therapy and its side effects in liver transplant recipients.
Material/Methods: We performed a prospective observational study of 27 patients treated post-transplantation in our ICU. 12 of 27 patients were treated with KT in case of either high number of blood transfusions (>20) or respiratory insufficiency (PaO2/FiO2 ratio <250 mmHg) or pretransplant pulmonary disease. Over a period of nine days we measured the PaO2/FiO2 ratio to evaluate the beneficial effect of KT. Liver perfusion was quantified by doppler ultrasound. Transplant function was measured by INR (international normalised ratio) and determination of indocyanine green elimination rate.
Results: Side effects on graft perfusion and graft function were not seen. 7 of 12 patients decreased in their PaO2/FiO2 ratio significantly 48 hours postoperative to 53% as compared to early postoperative level and recovered under KT during the observed time period nearly to the early postoperative level (95%; p<0.001). The units of perioperative blood transfusions, the MELD-score, the decrease of PaO2/FiO2 ratio 24 h after transplantation and retransplantation for initial non-functioning of the graft all pointed to a likely beneficial effect of KT.
Conclusions: We conclude that these criteria may be helpful to identify patients who are likely to benefit from KT.
Keywords: Liver Transplantation, respiratory failure, kinetic therapy , critically ill patients