Background: Since the incidence of myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular ischaemic events is highest in early morning, on account of a relative hypercoagulable state occurring in this time period, an attempt was made to test whether reperfusion of the hepatic artery at this time of the day, at liver transplantation, produces an increased risk of early thrombosis.
Methods: The records of 255 consecutive patients receiving a first transplant for chronic liver disease were retrospectively analysed. As possible risk factors, for early post-operative thrombosis (<30 days from transplantation), several medical and surgical parameters were taken into consideration. Arterial reperfusion was considered to have taken place at a time of high coagulability when occurred between 6.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. on the basis of previous reports.
Results: Logistic regression identified donor age (OR for age >60: P=0.017), bench reconstruction of the artery (OR: 5.06, P=0.013) and time of high coagulability at reperfusion (OR 2.93, P=0.087), as independently associated with early hepatic artery thrombosis.
Conclusions: The present findings identified three independent predictors of early hepatic thrombosis, warranting stricter post-surgical follow-up of patients presenting such conditions. Interestingly, these factors are consistent with arterial reperfusion in the early morning being associated with an increased risk of early hepatic artery thrombosis, suggesting relative coagulative imbalances to provide a contribution in the pathogenesis of this severe complication of liver transplantation.