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Biliary strictures after liver transplantation: Is percutaneous treatment indicated?

Tullio Piardi, Michael Greget, Maxim Audet, GianFranco Calandra, Federico Gheza, Bernard Ellero, Marrie-Lorraine Woehl-Jaegle, Massimiliano Cantu, Nazario Portolani, Philippe Wolf, Patrick Pessaux

Ann Transplant 2011; 16(2): 5-13

ID: 881858


Background:    Biliary complications are common after orthotopic liver transplantation. Our study’s aim is to evaluate the efficacy of percutaneous treatment of biliary strictures after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).
    Material/Methods:    Sixty-five patients with biliary anastomotic strictures received percutaneous transhepatic balloon cholangioplasty (PTBC). Three dilatations were performed with a 2- to 4-week period between the procedures. Primary and secondary patency were evaluated, with a follow-up between 6 months and 6 years.
    Results:    PTBC successfully treated strictures in 52.3% (34/65) of cases. The normalization of clinical and biological features was noted at 2.3 months on average. Neither intercurrent episodes of sepsis nor a worsening of liver function were noted during the treatment; a significant complication was recorded in 8 patients. No patient needed surgery for the treatment of complications after PTBC.
        Factors related to a successful PTBC included older age at transplantation and single-site stricture. There were 7 recurrent strictures after PTBC, all successfully treated by nonsurgical procedures. The number of dilatations performed affected both the likelihood of success and the long-term risk of stricture recurrence. Of the 31 PTBC failures, 19 underwent subsequent surgical revision, 8 were treated endoscopically, and 4 were re-transplanted. Multifocal stenoses, central hepatic duct involvement, and intrahepatic localization resulted associated with treatment failure.
    Conclusions:     PTBC should be considered as a first choice option for treatment of biliary strictures after liver transplantation as well as endoscopic treatment. For solitary extrahepatic strictures that fail PTBC and ERCP, surgical revision provides good results.

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