Drivers of Hospital Readmission and Early Liver Transplant after Kasai Portoenterostomy

Emily L. Ryon, Josh P. Parreco, Matthew S. Sussman, Hallie J. Quiroz, Brent A. Willobee, Eduardo A. Perez, Juan E. Sola, Chad M. Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Kasai portoenterostomy (KPE) remains the first-line operation for patients with biliary atresia (BA), but ultimately fails in up to 60% of cases. This study sought to identify factors contributing to hospital readmission and early liver transplant. Methods: The Nationwide Readmissions Database from 2010 to 2014 was used to identify patients with BA who underwent KPE on index admission. Patient factors, hospital characteristics, and complications of BA were compared by readmission rates and rate of liver transplant within 1 y. The results were weighted for national estimates. Results: Nine hundred and sixty three patients were identified. The readmission rate within 30-d was 36% (n = 346) and within 1-y was 67% (n = 647). Only 9% (n = 90) received a liver transplant within a year. The most common complications after KPE were cholangitis in 58%, decompensated cirrhosis in 54%, and recurrent jaundice in 34%. Male patients (OR 1.5, P = 0.02) with comorbid gastrointestinal anomalies (OR 2.1, P < 0.01) from lower income households (OR 4.6, P < 0.01) and early development of cirrhosis (OR 3.0, P < 0.01) were more likely to be readmitted. Liver transplant was more common in men (OR 4.0, P < 0.01) and those from lower income households (OR 5.2, P < 0.01) with decompensated cirrhosis (OR 8.6, P < 0.01), cholangitis (OR 5.0, P < 0.01), or sepsis (OR 5.7, P < 0.01) on index admission. Conclusions: This is the first nationwide study to evaluate readmissions in patients with BA undergoing KPE. Although KPE is a lifesaving procedure, hospital readmission rates are high and complications are common. Cholangitis, early progression of cirrhosis, and infections are highly associated with readmission and failure of KPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Biliary atresia
  • Kasai
  • Liver transplant
  • Outcomes
  • Portoenterostomy
  • Readmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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