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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

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Preservation of Arterial Vascularization After Hepatic Artery Pseudoaneurysm Following Orthotopic Liver Transplantation: Long-Term Results

Enrico Volpin, Patrick Pessaux, Alain Sauvanet, Annie Sibert, Reza Kianmanesh, François Durand, Jacques Belghiti, Daniele Sommacale

(Department of General, Visceral and Digestive Surgery, Centre Hospitalier de Fontenoy, Le Mans, France)

Ann Transplant 2014; 19:346-352

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.890473

Background: Hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm (HAP) is a serious complication of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for HAP and the best management of this complication.
Material and Methods: Between 1990 and 2005, 787 OLT were performed at our center. Patients who developed HAP were identified from our prospective database and risk factors of HAP were identified. Management of HAP was analyzed retrospectively.
Results: There were 16 OLT (2.5%) complicated by HAP [median delay =13 days; range: 4–100 days]. Presentation was massive bleeding with shock (n=13), pain (n=2), or transient gastrointestinal bleeding (n=1). Bacteriological culture of HAP wall or ascites fluid was positive in 13 (81%) patients. Bilio-enteric anastomosis and biliary leak were identified as risk factors for HAP (p=0.011 and 0.002, respectively), whereas indication for OLT, surgical technique (full-graft OLT versus other techniques), and re-LT were not.
Mortality rate after HAP rupture was 53% (7/13), but no deaths occurred in the 3 patients treated before rupture. Treatment included: excision and immediate revascularization [n=7; early mortality =2 (28%), long-term graft survival =4 (57%)], hepatic artery ligation [n=5; early mortality =3 (80%);, long-term graft survival with good liver function =0], and endovascular treatment [n=2; early mortality =0, long-term survival with good liver function =2].
Conclusions: HAP post-OLT carries a high mortality rate when detected after rupture, but recognition before rupture usually allows a successful outcome. Reconstruction with bilio-enteric anastomosis and postoperative biliary leak increase the risk for HAP. In these settings, CT with contrast injection should be performed to screen for HAP when there is any suspicion. Graft revascularization should be attempted whenever possible.

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