Early Hepatic Artery Thrombosis After Liver Transplantation: Diagnosis and Treatment

S. Nikeghbalian, K. Kazemi, H. R. Davari, H. Salahi, A. Bahador, H. Jalaeian, M. B. Khosravi, S. Ghaffari, M. Lahsaee, M. Alizadeh, A. R. Rasekhi, S. M.R. Nejatollahi, S. A. Malek-Hosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) occurs in 3% to 9% of all liver transplantations with acute graft failure as a possible sequel. Methods: Eleven episodes of HAT were identified among 256 orthotropic liver transplantations (whole, LDCT, split) performed on 253 patients between April 1993 and July 2006. HAT was suspected clinically and confirmed by Doppler ultrasonography, magnetic resonance angiography, angiography, or reexploration. One patient was excluded due to poor follow-up. Treatment options included exploration with HA thrombectomy plus thrombolysis, retransplantation, or conservative treatment of hepatic and biliary complications. Results: Among 11 patients of mean age 29.98 ± 17.14 years (range, 10 months to 56 years). 2 had split right lobe liver transplantations and 9 received whole organs. None of LDLTs were identified to have HAT. The causes of liver cirrhosis among HAT patients were autoimmune hepatitis (n = 3), cryptogenic (n = 3), Wilson (n = 1), PBC (n = 1), biliary atresia (n = 1), and HBs (n = 1). HAT was diagnosed at 5.9 ± 4.43 (range, 2 to 16) days after operation. Most patients developed right upper quadrant (RUQ) pain at presentation. Two patients developed acidosis, fever, or SIRS and underwent retransplantation. Four underwent exploration of HA and 1 was treated conservatively. Three cases expired due to HAT complications. Conclusion: We found RUQ pain to be the presenting sign of early HAT in majority of cases. RUQ pain has been reported to occur in late HAT. Whenever HAT is confirmed, liver transplanted patients should be revascularized or even retransplanted. Intra-arterial thrombolysis and thrombolytic therapy for HAT should be done cautiously due to the potential risk of hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1196
Number of pages2
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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