Endoscopic management of post-liver transplant billiary complications: A prospective study from tertiary centre in India
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Liver transplantation has become common in India over the last decade and biliary strictures after the procedure cause a significant morbidity. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a safe and effective treatment modality for post-transplant biliary strictures so we decided to evaluate prospectively the outcomes of endoscopic treatment in post-living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) biliary strictures.
We studied ten consecutive patients who had developed biliary strictures (out of 312 who had undergone liver transplantation between June 2009 and June 2013) and had been referred to the Department of Gastroenterology for management. All patients underwent liver function tests, ultrasound of the abdomen, magnetic resonance cholangiography and liver biopsy, if this was indicated.
Of these 312 patients who underwent liver transplantation, 305 had living donors (LDLT) and 7 deceased donors (DDLT). Ten patients in the LDLT group (3.3 %) developed biliary strictures. There were seven males and three females who had median age of 52 years (range 4–60 years). The biliary anastomosis was duct-to-duct in all patients with one patient having an additional duct-to-jejunum anastomosis. The mode of presentation was cholangitis in four patients (40 %), asymptomatic elevation of liver enzymes in four (40 %) and jaundice in two patients (20 %). The median time from transplantation to the detection of the stricture was 12 months (2–42.5 months). ERCP was attempted as initial therapy in all patients: seven were managed entirely by endoscopic therapy, and three required a combined percutaneous and endoscopic approach. Cholangiography demonstrated anastomotic stricture in all patients. A total of 32 sessions of ERCP were done with mean of 3.2 (2–5) endoscopic sessions and 3.4 (1–6) stents required to resolve the stricture. The median time from the first intervention to stricture resolution was 4 months (range 2–12 months). In four patients, the stents were removed after one session and in two patients each after two, three and four sessions. In six patients more than one stent was placed and all of them required dilatation of stricture. Seven patients completed treatment and are off stents at a median follow up period of 9.5 months (7–11 months). Two patients developed recurrence of their stricture after 7.5 months. Both had long strictures and required a combined endoscopic and percutaneous approach. There was one mortality due to sepsis secondary to cholangitis.
Post-LDLT biliary strictures can be successfully treated with ERCP, and most patients remain well on follow up (median 9.5 months). A combined endoscopic and percutaneous approach is useful when ERCP alone fails.
KeywordsPost-LDLT biliary stricture Post-liver transplant biliary Endotherapy for post-LDLT biliary stricture
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
PR, RKB, NM, SL, VK, MKS, MK, and SN declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The authors declare that the study was performed in a manner to conform with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 and 2008 concerning Human and Animal Rights, and the authors followed the policy concerning Informed Consent as shown on Springer.com.