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Authors Shah JN, Haigh WG, Lee SP, Lucey MR, Brensinger CM, Kochman ML, Long WB, Olthoff K, Shaked A, Ginsberg GG
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Journal Am. J. Gastroenterol. Volume: 98 Issue: 8 Pages: 1861-7
Publish Date 2003 Aug
PubMed ID 12907345
Abstract

Biliary casts develop in up to 18% of liver transplant recipients. Casts are associated with morbidity, graft failure, need for retransplantation, and mortality. Proposed etiological mechanisms include acute cellular rejection, ischemia, infection, and biliary obstruction. We aimed to identify clinical features associated with biliary cast formation, review treatments, and analyze the biochemical composition of casts at a single, large, liver transplant center.Patient records were reviewed retrospectively to identify patients who developed casts. Data were collected with attention to ischemia, rejection, obstruction, infection, immunosuppression, postoperative biliary drain use, and cast-directed management, and were compared with data from controls. Cast specimens, retrieved at cholangiography, were analyzed with chromatography techniques.Ischemic factors were noted in 70% (7/10) of cast patients versus 15% (6/40) of controls (OR = 13.2; 95% CI = 2.7-66.0; p = 0.001). Biliary strictures were present in 50% of cast patients versus 10% of controls (OR = 9.0; 95% CI = 1.8-45.2; p = 0.01). Differences in cold ischemia time, acute cellular rejection, cyclosporin use, infection, and postoperative biliary drain use were not significant. Casts were successfully treated by endoscopic and percutaneous methods in 60% of patients. One patient died of cast-related complications (mortality 10%). Four casts were in satisfactory condition for biochemical analysis. Bilirubin was the main component ( approximately 10-50%). Bile acid synthesis products and cholesterol comprised smaller percentages, and protein comprised only 5-10%.Biliary casts are more likely to develop in the setting of hepatic ischemia and biliary strictures. Endoscopic and percutaneous cast extraction might achieve favorable results and should be attempted before surgical therapy.

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