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Factor V Leiden and hepatic artery thrombosis after liver transplantation


Rainer W.G. Gruessner, Professor of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery, MMC 90, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
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Abstract:  Factor V Leiden (FVL) and other thrombophilias can be acquired during liver transplantation and can have a significant impact on clinical outcomes as well as cost. Standard practice does not include screening deceased donors for heritable thrombophilias, even if they have a personal history of thrombosis. Here we report a case of hepatic artery thrombosis in a liver recipient whose native and donor livers were heterozygous for FVL. The patient subsequently underwent a successful retransplant. FVL and its variants are expressed phenotypically as activated protein C (APC) resistance. We believe that testing liver donors (deceased or living) for APC resistance – a surrogate marker for the most common liver-based thrombophilia – will reduce the incidence of thrombotic events by identifying a need for posttransplant prophylactic anticoagulation in patients at risk. The estimated cost of testing all liver donors in the US for APC resistance is less than the cost of two complications secondary to thrombosis. Testing for APC resistance may further improve outcome and reduce cost after liver transplantation.

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