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August 1996

Improved Results of Liver Transplantation in Patients With Portal Vein Thrombosis

Author Affiliations

From the Dumont-UCLA Liver Transplant Program, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif. Drs Shaked and Olthoff are now with the Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Arch Surg. 1996;131(8):840-845. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430200050009

Objective:  To analyze the impact of preexisting portal vein thrombosis (PVT) on the operative management and outcome of liver transplantation.

Design:  Retrospective review of 1423 patients who received transplants over 11 years.

Setting:  Tertiary referral center.

Patients or Other Participants:  Seventy patients who underwent liver transplantation who had preexisting PVT.

Interventions:  Portal vein thromboendovenectomy, vein grafting, or use of portal collateral veins for inflow during liver transplantation.

Main Outcome Measures:  Postoperative PVT, intraoperative transfusion, retransplantation rate, 30-day and 1-year actuarial survival rates.

Results:  Operative management consisted of thromboendovenectomy in 61 cases, vein graft to the superior mesenteric vein in 6 cases, and vein graft to other mesenteric veins in 3 cases. The incidence of posttransplant PVT was 3% (n=2). The mean±SD transfusion requirement was 23±18 U. The 1-year actuarial survival rate was 74% but improved from 66% in the first 35 cases to 82% in the latter 35 cases.

Conclusions:  Thromboendovenectomy is the procedure of choice for PVT. Results of liver transplantation in patients with PVT improve significantly with experience gained and are equivalent to results in patients without PVT.Arch Surg. 1996;131:840-845

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