Background: Survival after pediatric liver transplantation (PLT) is negatively impacted by thrombotic and hemorrhagic complications. Limited data exists regarding factors associated with these complications and utilization of anticoagulation. Methods: Retrospective review of donor, recipient variables and outcomes from four centers participating in the Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation. Results: 76 PLT included 39 (51%) technical variant transplants, with mean follow-up 628 ± 193.6 days. Median age/weight at transplant were 59.3 ± 53.8 months and 19.6 ± 17.2 kg. Seven (9.2%) transplants experienced intraoperative hepatic artery thrombosis (iHAT), all successfully corrected. Four HAT recurred postoperatively on POD 1,7,8 and 616. All three portal vein thromboses (PVT) occurred on POD1. Anticoagulation protocols were initiated intraoperatively in 50 and postoperatively in 66 and were active for all thrombotic and hemorrhagic events. Two patients were re-transplanted for HAT. Two patients died without having thrombotic or hemorrhagic complications. iHAT and post-operative HAT were associated with lower hepatic arterial flows. iHAT was associated with donor variant anatomy, reduced allografts and intraoperative blood loss. Intraoperative ultrasound could not predict post-operative HAT nor PVT. Surgeon pre-operative concern regarding the native portal vein correlated with postoperative PVT. Lower hepatic arterial and portal flows, higher estimated blood losses, higher prothrombin time and use of arterial interposition grafts were associated with postoperative hemorrhagic complications. Conclusions: Thrombotic and hemorrhagic complications after pediatric liver transplant remain rare but significant events. Their occurrence can be predicted with pre-operative assessment of donor and recipient vascular anatomy and direct flow measurement but may not be predicted with ultrasound evaluation nor prevented with anticoagulation.
- flow measurement
- liver transplant