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Original Article
February 1998

Management and Outcome of Patients With Combined Bile Duct and Hepatic Artery Injuries

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Saint Louis University Hospital, St Louis, Mo.

Arch Surg. 1998;133(2):176-181. doi:10.1001/archsurg.133.2.176

Background  Major bile duct injury is an important therapeutic problem that can be associated with simultaneous injury to the hepatic artery. Limited information exists regarding the course of patients who have combined bile duct and arterial injuries.

Objective  To compare the management and outcome of isolated bile duct injuries with bile duct and hepatic artery injuries.

Patients and Methods  Since 1991, 13 patients have undergone reconstruction of right and left hepatic confluence or proximal bile duct injuries. At the time of bile duct injury, 4 of these patients had simultaneous occlusion or extirpation of the right hepatic or common hepatic artery. All patients underwent reconstruction of the biliary tract with hepaticojejunostomies. The immediate and long-term outcomes of the patients with and without hepatic artery injury were compared.

Results  In the immediate postoperative period, 3 of 4 patients with combined injuries had hepatic necrosis and/or abscesses with 2 patients requiring transcutaneous or operative drainage. This problem was not diagnosed in patients with isolated bile duct injuries. None of the biliary anastomoses have failed in the patients with isolated bile duct injuries while 50% of the anastomoses in patients with combined injuries have caused recurrent problems following reconstruction.

Conclusion  Patients with major bile duct injuries should be evaluated for concomitant hepatic arterial injury as management and outcome may be influenced by the absence of arterial blood flow to the injured bile ducts and to the liver.