Late hepatic artery thrombosis after pediatric liver transplantation: A cross-sectional study of 34 patients


  • This study was funded by the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, the Mary and Georg C. Ehrnrooth Foundation, and the National Graduate School of Clinical Investigation.

  • See Editorial on Page 512


Hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) after liver transplantation (LT) increases patient morbidity and mortality. Early HAT is considered to occur within the first month after LT, whereas late HAT occurs after the first month. Few studies have addressed late HAT after LT, especially in pediatric patients. Between 1987 and 2007, 99 patients (age < 18 years) underwent deceased donor LT. Thirty-four of 66 eligible patients (52%) underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) according to protocol. On the basis of MRI findings, the patients were grouped as those who experienced late HAT and those who did not. Additionally, potential risk factors for late HAT were analyzed retrospectively. P values were adjusted for multiplicity. The median age at LT was 1.7 years [interquartile range (IQR) = 1.0-9.6 years], and the median follow-up time at MRI was 9.5 years (IQR = 4.0-16.4 years). Late HAT was diagnosed in 15 of the 34 patients [44%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 29%-61%] undergoing MRI and in 3 of these patients with angiography preceding MRI. Ultrasonography revealed late HAT in 6 of these 15 patients with a sensitivity of 40% (95% CI = 20%-64%). The donor/recipient weight ratio remained significantly higher for the patients with late HAT versus the patients without late HAT after P values were adjusted (5.4 versus 1.9, P = 0.03). No marked differences were observed in laboratory or liver histology parameters between the groups. In conclusion, late HAT is common after pediatric LT. The donor/recipient weight ratio was higher for patients with late HAT, and this was attributable to the lower weight of the recipients. No salient features of late HAT were observed with respect to laboratory or histological parameters, at least in terms of our study's cross-sectional period. Liver Transpl 20:591–600, 2014. © 2014 AASLD.