Biliary complications after liver transplantation: the role of endoscopy

Endoscopy. 2005 Sep;37(9):857-63. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-870192.


Biliary complications are important causes of early and late postoperative morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation and are seen in 10-20 % of the patients. The common biliary complications include bile leaks, stones or debris, and anastomotic strictures. Less common complications are hilar strictures, intrahepatic strictures, and papillary stenosis/dysfunction. The complications are similar in living-donor and cadaveric liver transplantations, except for a higher incidence of bile leaks among living-donor transplant recipients. The clinical presentation of post-liver transplant bile duct complications is often subtle, and noninvasive imaging studies may sometimes fail to detect mild but clinically significant stenoses or small leaks. Early recognition and prompt treatment of biliary complications following liver transplantation reduces the morbidity and improves long-term graft and patient survival. In this report, we discuss the role of endoscopy in the diagnosis, treatment options, and the outcome for patients with biliary complications following liver transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Bile Duct Diseases / therapy
  • Cholestasis / diagnosis
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Common Bile Duct Diseases / diagnosis
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System*
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Sphincter of Oddi