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Keywords:

  • Anastomotic stenosis;
  • biliary complications;
  • donation after cardiac death (DCD);
  • ITBL;
  • liver transplantation;
  • nonanastomotic strictures;
  • partial liver transplantation

Due to a vulnerable blood supply of the bile ducts, biliary complications are a major source of morbidity after liver transplantation (LT). Manifestation is either seen at the anastomotic region or at multiple locations of the donor biliary system, termed as nonanastomotic biliary strictures. Major risk factors include old donor age, marginal grafts and prolonged ischemia time. Moreover, partial LT or living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) and donation after cardiac death (DCD) bear a markedly higher risk of biliary complications. Especially accumulation of several risk factors is critical and should be avoided. Prophylaxis is still a major issue; however no gold standard is established so far, since many risk factors cannot be influenced directly. The diagnostic workup is mostly started with noninvasive imaging studies namely MRI and MRCP, but direct cholangiography still remains the gold standard. Especially nonanastomotic strictures require a multidisciplinary treatment approach. The primary management of anastomotic strictures is mainly interventional. However, surgical revision is finally indicated in a significant number of cases. Using adequate treatment algorithms, a very high success rate can be achieved in anastomotic complications, but in nonanastomotic strictures a relevant number of graft failures are still inevitable.