Utility of nifedipine use for Doppler ultrasound early after liver transplantation to predict short-term complications and long-term outcomes

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Purpose: To evaluate the response to nifedipine administration measured by changes in hepatic arterial (HA) flow on post-operative Doppler ultrasound (US) to predict short-term complications and long-term outcomes in liver transplant (LT) patients. Methods: Patients who underwent LT with post-operative Doppler US within 3 days between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2015 were included in this retrospective single center study. The patients who received and did not receive nifedipine during the Doppler US comprised the study and control groups, respectively. A positive response to nifedipine was defined as the detection of HA flow when none was present initially or a reduction in HA resistive index (RI) ≥ 0.1 after nifedipine administration. The rates of re-transplantation, re-operation, percutaneous intervention (PCI), and overall survival (OS) were recorded. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate the association of clinic-demographic variables and Doppler findings with the outcome measures. Results: 444 LT patients (305 M/139F, mean age 51.7 ± 17.4 years, mean interval between LT-Doppler US 1.12 ± 0.9 days) are presented. 220 patients comprised the nifedipine study group [n = 157/220 (71.4%) responder, n = 63/220 (28.6%) nonresponder] and 224 patients comprised the control group. There was no difference in re-transplantation or PCI rates between the groups (all p-values ≥ 0.2 and ≥ 0.08, respectively). The responder group had a lower rate of re-operation vs. the control group (15.9% vs. 24.1%, p = 0.03) and nonresponder group (15.9% vs. 31.8%, p = 0.004). 1-year and 2-year OS were similar between the groups (all p-values > 0.37). Conclusion: Short-term complication rates and long-term outcomes for patients with liver transplant who responded to nifedipine administration on Doppler US are similar to those who did not require nifedipine administration. A lack of response to nifedipine was associated with a higher re-operation rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1112
Number of pages10
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Complications
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Hepatic artery
  • Liver transplant
  • Nifedipine
  • Overall survival


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