Prevention of the Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome After Liver Transplantation: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

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Abstract

The osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS) is a serious neurologic condition that occurs in the setting of rapid correction of hyponatremia. It presents with protean manifestations, from encephalopathy to the “locked-in” syndrome. ODS can complicate liver transplantation (LT), and its incidence may increase with the inclusion of serum sodium as a factor in the Mayo End-Stage Liver Disease score. A comprehensive understanding of risk factors for the development of ODS in the setting of LT, along with recommendations to mitigate the risk of ODS, are necessary. The literature to date on ODS in the setting of LT was reviewed. Major risk factors for the development of ODS include severe pretransplant hyponatremia (serum sodium [SNa] < 125 mEq/L), the magnitude of change in SNa pre- versus posttransplant, higher positive intraoperative fluid balance, and the presence of postoperative hemorrhagic complications. Strategies to reduce the risk of ODS include correcting hyponatremia pretransplant via fluid restriction and/or ensuring an appropriate rate of increase from the preoperative SNa via close attention to fluid and electrolyte management both during and after surgery. Multidisciplinary management involving transplant hepatology, nephrology, neurology, surgery, and anesthesiology/critical care is key to performing LT safely in patients with hyponatremia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2537-2545
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • cirrhosis
  • clinical research/practice
  • liver disease
  • liver transplantation/hepatology
  • neurology

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