Posttransplant biliary complications in the pre- and post-model for end-stage liver disease era



Biliary complications remain a cause of morbidity after liver transplantation. The aim of this study was to determine whether changes in clinical practice in the era of the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) has affected biliary complications after liver transplantation. We retrospectively reviewed all deceased donor liver transplants at a single center. Patients were categorized as pre- or post-MELD (transplant before or after February 28, 2002). A total of 1798 recipients underwent deceased donor liver transplants. Biliary stricture was more common in the post-MELD era (15.4% versus 6.4%, P < 0.001). The strongest risk factors for stricture development were donor age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.01), presence of a prior bile leak (OR = 2.24), use of choledochocholedochostomy (OR = 2.22), and the post-MELD era (OR = 2.30). Bile leak was more common in the pre-MELD era (7.5% versus 4.9%, P = 0.02), with use of a T-tube as the strongest risk factor (OR = 3.38). Surgical factors did not influence the biliary complication rate. In conclusion, even when employing multivariate analysis to allow for factors that may influence biliary strictures, transplant in the post-MELD era was an independent predictor for stricture development. Further studies are warranted to determine the etiology of this increase. Liver Transpl, 2011. © 2011 AASLD.