Hepatic Venous and Inferior Vena Cava Morphology No Longer a Barrier to Living Donor Liver Transplantation for Budd-Chiari Syndrome: Surgical Techniques and Outcomes

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Transplantation proceedings


BACKGROUND: Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) has been reported with(IVC) replacements with vascular/synthetic graft. The goal of this study was to review outcomes of LDLT for BCS at our center, with an emphasis on surgical techniques and postoperative anticoagulation therapy.

METHODS: Between October 2011 and December 2015, a total of 1027 LDLTs were performed. Nine of these patients had BCS. We analyzed their etiologies, operative details, postoperative complications, and outcomes.

RESULTS: The indication was chronic liver disease for all patients. Two patients required retrohepatic IVC replacement with a polytetrafluoroethylene graft due to severe adhesions and thrombosis, respectively. One patient required V-Y plasty for suprahepatic IVC narrowing. Five patients had portal venous thrombosis, 3 treated by thrombectomy, and 1 by renoportal anastomosis. The mean follow-up time was 18 ± 16 months. Only 1 early death occurred due to sepsis. The anticoagulation therapy involved heparin infusion from postoperative day 1, conversion to low-molecular-weight-heparin on postoperative days 3 to 6, followed by warfarin (postoperative days 9-16 to maintain an international normalized ratio of 2-3 long term), along with low-dose aspirin for 6 months. There was no recurrence of thrombosis.

CONCLUSIONS: LDLT for BCS is well documented in literature. Prevention of recurrent thrombosis depends on meticulous surgical technique, perfect and wide outflow anastomoses, and a strict anticoagulation protocol. A synthetic (polytetrafluoroethylene) graft for IVC interposition is a safe and feasible option for reconstruction with good results. Low-dose aspirin with low-molecular-weight-heparin later converted to warfarin provides excellent results and prevents recurrence of thrombosis.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Budd-Chiari Syndrome; Female; Hepatic Veins; Humans; Liver Transplantation; Living Donors; Male; Middle Aged; Postoperative Complications; Vascular Surgical Procedures; Vena Cava, Inferior

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