Increased incidence of transfusion-related acute lung injury during orthotopic liver transplantation: A short report

Y. Morita, Ernesto Pretto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Intractable severe pulmonary edema during Orthotopic Liver Transplant (OLT) can be a fatal perioperative complication. We sought to characterize the incidence, timing, and related risk factors of severe pulmonary edema during OLT. We performed a retrospective observational survey of OLT cases performed between 2007 and 2011 at Miami Transplant Institute. Of all 632 OLT patients, a total of 9 patients (1.4%) had severe pulmonary edema during OLT. All these patients received blood transfusions before and after reperfusion (Packed red blood cell 8.9 ± 2.6 units, Fresh frozen plasma 12 ± 3.7 units, Platelets 5.4 ± 8.6 units). Eight episodes occurred after reperfusion (89%) and 1 before reperfusion (11%). Median time interval from last blood transfusion to severe pulmonary edema was 79 min (25e257 min). In the 8 patients that developed severe pulmonary edema post reperfusion, median time interval from reperfusion to severe pulmonary edema was 34 min (15e85 min). Perioperative mortality among severe pulmonary edema cases was 11% (1 in 9). Incidence of severe pulmonary edema was 1.4% in our patient population, and this number is much higher than that reported for TRALI in other large series (0.075 to 0.12%). Despite a large dose of steroids given at reperfusion, 89% of pulmonary edema episodes occurred within 2.5 hours of reperfusion. Also, heart failure and pulmonary embolism were unlikely based on intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography findings. These results may suggest an association between TRALI and the post reperfusion syndrome during liver transplantation that warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3593-3597
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

Cite this