Normal Primary Graft Function Despite Early Hepatic Artery Thrombosis After Living-Donor Liver Transplant

Alim A., Erdogan Y., DAYANGAÇ M., Yuzer Y., Tokat Y., Oezcelik A.

Experimental and Clinical Transplantation, vol.20, no.3, pp.293-298, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.6002/ect.2017.0363
  • Journal Name: Experimental and Clinical Transplantation
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.293-298
  • Keywords: Arterial complications, Early hepatic artery thrombosis, End-stage liver disease, Retransplant
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: Early hepatic artery thrombosis is rare but devastating in living-donor liver transplant recipients. In this study, our aim was to evaluate the results of all patients with early hepatic artery thrombosis at our center. Materials and Methods: Between October 2004 and November 2015, 841 patients underwent liver transplant for end-stage liver disease at our center. All recipients with early hepatic artery thrombosis were identified and retrospectively analyzed. Early hepatic artery thrombosis was defined in our study as its occurrence within the first postoperative week. Results: Early hepatic artery thrombosis was seen in 12 patients (1.8%). Seven of these 12 patients developed hepatic artery thrombosis on postoperative day 1 after intraoperative dissection of the hepatic artery with necessity of repeated reconstruction. However, the primary liver function of these patients was excellent, with nearly normal serum liver panel results. The other 5 patients were diagnosed after sudden significant increases of liver values followed by graft dysfunction within the first postoperative week. All patients were listed as high urgent and underwent retransplant. Two patients died perioperatively due to primary nonfunction, and 2 other patients died due to liver cirrhosis based on recurrent autoimmune hepatitis 29 and 106 months after retransplant. The remaining patients were alive with good liver function after a median time of 18 months (interquartile range, 13-45 mo). Conclusions: Early hepatic artery thrombosis is not always associated with graft dysfunction. Retransplant is still necessary due to ischemic cholangiopathy in the long-term follow-up. However, an elective retransplant, which could mean better outcomes, should be preferred instead of an emergency retransplant.