Covered metal stents for the treatment of biliary complications after orthotopic liver transplantation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Biliary complications, a major source of morbidity after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), are increasingly being treated by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Endoscopic management has been shown to be superior to percutaneous therapy and surgery. Covered self-expandable metal stents (CSEMSs) may be an alternative to the current endoscopic standard treatment with periodic plastic stent replacement. OBJECTIVE To assess the safety and efficacy of temporary CSEMS insertion for biliary complications after OLT. METHODS From November 2001 to December 2009, the 242 OLT performed in 226 patients included 67 cases that developed post-OLT leaks or strictures (29.6%), excluding ischemic biliary complications. CSEMSs were used in 22 patients (33%), 18 male and 4 female, with an overall median age of 55 years (range, 29-69). In-house OLT patients underwent an index ERCP at 26 days (range, 8-784) after OLT. Their records were reviewed to determine ERCP findings, technical success, and clinical outcomes. RESULTS ERCP with sphincterotomy was performed in all 22 patients, revealing 18 with biliary strictures alone (82%), 3 with strictures and leaks (14%), and 1 with strictures and choledocholithiasis (4%). All strictures were anastomotic. All patients had 1-2 plastic stents inserted across the anastomosis (11 had prior balloon dilation); stones were successfully removed, for an initial technical success rate of 100% (22/22). CSEMSs, were placed at the second ERCP in 14 patients, at the third in 7, and at the fourth in 1. With a median follow-up of 12.5 months (range, 3-25) after CSEMS removal, 21/22 patients (95.5%) remain stricture free and one relapsed, requiring repeat CSEMS insertion. Four patients experienced pain after CSEMS insertion. At CSEMS removal, migration was noted in 5 cases, into either the distal duodenum (n=4) or the proximal biliary tree (n=1), and embedding was seen in 1 case. There were no serious complications; no patients needed hepatojejunostomy. CONCLUSIONS ERCP is a safe first-line approach for post-OLT biliary complications. It was highly successful in a population with anastomotic leaks and strictures. The therapeutic role of ERCP to manage biliary complications after OLT in the long term is not well known. In our experience, the high rate (close to 95%) of efficacy and its relative safety allowed us to use CSEMS to manage refractory biliary post-OLT strictures. CSEMS insertion may preclude most post-OLT hepatojejunostomies.

DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.07.084

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@article{GarcaPajares2010CoveredMS, title={Covered metal stents for the treatment of biliary complications after orthotopic liver transplantation.}, author={F Garc{\'i}a-Pajares and G S{\'a}nchez-Antol{\'i}n and S L Pelayo and S G{\'o}mez de la Cuesta and M T Herranz Bachiller and M P{\'e}rez-Miranda and C de La Serna and M A Vallecillo Sande and N Alcaide and R V Llames and D Pacheco and A Caro-Pat{\'o}n}, journal={Transplantation proceedings}, year={2010}, volume={42 8}, pages={2966-9} }