Biliary complications after liver transplantation in patients with preexisting sclerosing cholangitis

J. G. Letourneau, D. L. Day, D. W. Hunter, N. L. Ascher, J. S. Najarian, W. M. Thompson, W. R. Castaneda-Zuniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


To determine if biliary complications after liver transplantation are more frequent in patients with preexisting sclerosing cholangitis and to clarify the role of interventional procedures in this setting, the authors reviewed all 40 adult cases in which liver transplantation was performed at their institution over a 3 1/2 -year period. Biliary complications, particularly strictures at the choledochojejunostomy and debris in the intrahepatic and common ducts, were seen in six of ten liver transplant patients (60%) with preexisting sclerosing cholangitis; this is six times the frequency of biliary complications seen in other adult recipients (10%). Biliary complications were definitively diagnosed and managed with interventional radiologic procedures. Obstruction due to anastomotic strictures required treatment with balloon dilation in all six of the affected patients. Obstructive biliary complications occur in many liver recipients with preexisting sclerosing cholangitis. These complications require aggressive radiologic assessment and intervention but to date have not adversely affected survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-351
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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