Objective: To assess the incidence of biliary complications after right lobe living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in patients undergoing duct-to-duct choledochocholedochostomy or Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy reconstruction.
Summary background data: Biliary tract complications remain one of the most serious morbidities following liver transplantation. No large series has yet been carried out to compare the 2 techniques in LDLT. This study undertook a retrospective assessment of the relation between the method of biliary reconstruction used and the complications reported.
Methods: Between February 1998 and June 2004, 321 patients received right lobe LDLT. Biliary reconstruction was achieved with Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy in 121 patients, duct-to-duct choledochocholedochostomy in 192 patients, and combined Roux-en-Y and duct-to-duct choledochocholedochostomy in 8 patients. The number of graft bile duct and anastomosis, mode of anastomosis, use of stent tube, and management of biliary complications were analyzed.
Results: The overall incidence of biliary complications was 24.0%. Univariate analysis revealed that hepatic artery complications, cytomegalovirus infections, and blood type incompatibility were significant risk factors for biliary complications. The respective incidence of biliary leakage and stricture were 12.4% and 8.3% for Roux-en-Y, and 4.7% and 26.6% for duct-to-duct reconstruction. Duct-to-duct choledochocholedochostomy showed a significantly lower incidence of leakage and a higher incidence of stricture; however, 74.5% of the stricture was managed with endoscopic treatment.
Conclusions: The authors found an increase in the biliary stricture rate in the duct-to-duct choledochocholedochostomy group. Because of greater physiologic bilioenteric continuity, less incidence of leakage, and easy endoscopic access, duct-to-duct reconstruction represents a feasible technique in right lobe LDLT.