Bile duct complications after liver transplantation

Transpl Int. 2005 Jun;18(6):627-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2005.00123.x.


Complications involving the biliary tract after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) have been a common problem since the early beginning of this technique. Biliary complications have been reported to occur at a relatively constant rate of approximately 10-15% of all deceased donor full size OLTs. There is a wide range of potential biliary complications which can occur after OLT. Their incidence varies according to the type of graft, type of donor, and the type of biliary anastomosis performed. The spectrum of biliary complications has changed over the past decade because of the establishment of split liver, reduced-size, and living donor liver transplantation. Apart from technical developments, novel diagnostic methods have been introduced and evaluated in OLT, the most prominent being magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment modalities have also changed over the past years towards a primarily nonoperative, endoscopy-based strategy, leaving the surgical intervention for lesions which otherwise are not curable. The management of biliary complications after OLT requires a multidisciplinary approach. Conservative, interventional, and endoscopic treatment options have to be weighed up against surgical re-intervention. In the following the spectrum of specific bile duct complications after OLT and their treatment options will be reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Diseases / diagnosis
  • Bile Duct Diseases / etiology*
  • Bile Duct Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*