|Authors||Gopal DV, Pfau PR, Lucey MR|
|Journal||Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol Volume: 6 Issue: 6 Pages: 509-515|
|Publish Date||2003 Dec|
After orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), biliary duct complications can occur in as many as 10% to 35% of patients. In the early medical and surgical literature, surgical therapy was the primary mode of management of biliary tract complications and was the eventual course of operative intervention in up to 70% of cases. However, with recent advances in therapeutic biliary endoscopy, the current endoscopic and transplantation literature suggests that endoscopic management with techniques such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with endoscopic sphincterotomy, biliary stenting, and stone removal techniques can be successfully applied for the majority of post-OLT biliary complications. The most common biliary complications after OLT include biliary strictures (anastomotic and nonanastomotic); bile duct leaks, common bile duct stones, and biliary casts; sphincter of Oddi/ampullary muscle dysfunction/spasm; and disease recurrence (eg, primary sclerosing cholangitis). Predisposing factors for biliary complications after OLT include hepatic artery thrombosis, impaired perfusion of the biliary tree, portal vein thrombosis, and preservation or harvesting injuries, which can increase the incidence of complications as much as 40%. Use of immunosuppressive agents such as cyclosporine can lead to cholesterol/bile stasis and stone formation. Outside of endoscopic therapy, there is little medical or dietary management that can be applied for post-OLT biliary complications. Ursodiol (ursodeoxycholic acid) has often been used as a neoadjuvant to ERCP therapy in the setting of common bile duct stones/casts, and low-fat diets may be recommended in this setting, but no large, randomized trials have advocated medical or conservative management alone.