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28 January 2016 : Original article  

Post-Operative Hemorrhage After Liver Transplantation: Risk Factors and Long-Term Outcome

Harald SchremABCDEFG, Annika KlußmannBCDEF, Moritz FockenBE, Nikos EmmanouilidisBDE, Felix OldhaferBDE, Jürgen KlempnauerBDEG, Alexander KaltenbornABCDEFG

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.895605

Ann Transplant 2016; 21:46-55


BACKGROUND: Increasing scarcity of donated liver grafts clearly demonstrates the desperate need for ongoing outcome analysis to improve patient and graft survival after liver transplantation. Coagulation is often severely deteriorated in patients suffering from liver disease, thus leading to bleeding complications after liver transplantation.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We included 770 liver transplantations in this single-center retrospective analysis to identify independent risk factors for post-operative hemorrhage. The relevance of bleeding complications was assessed with special regards to coagulation-related variables. Multivariate regression analyses allowed weighing of different risk factors.

RESULTS: Post-operative hemorrhage leading to revision surgery was observed in 19.9% (n=153 cases) of cases and was revealed as an independent risk factor for mortality (p=0.014; HR: 1.457; 95%-CI: 1.081–1.964). Risk-adjusted multivariate regression analysis compiling all pre- and intra-operative donor and recipient variables revealed that only the number of transfused packed red blood cells (p<0.001; OR: 1.072; 95%-CI: 1.036–1.110), hepatitis B virus-related liver disease (p=0.019; OR: 0.082; 95%-CI: 0.010–0.666), model of end-stage liver disease-era (p=0.020; OR: 1.016; 95%-CI: 1.002–1.029), partial thromboplastin time at transplantation (p=0.021; OR: 1.016; 95%-CI: 1.002–1.029), and donor intensive care unit stay in days (p=0.009; OR: 1.009; 95%-CI: 1.002–1.016) were significantly associated with the occurrence of post-operative hemorrhage.

CONCLUSIONS: Post-operative hemorrhage relevantly contributed post-transplant mortality. Avoidance of excessive packed red blood cell use during transplantation and short donor-intensive care unit stay lead to a decreased rate of bleeding complications. Coagulations state at transplantation is also relevant for favorable outcome.

Keywords: Blood Platelets, Hemorrhage, Liver Transplantation, Platelet Count, Thrombocytopenia

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358