Arterial steal: an unusual cause for hepatic hypoperfusion after liver transplantation

Transpl Int. 1991 Jun;4(2):122-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00336410.


Case reports of two patients with an unusual cause for a rapid increase in transaminases following liver transplantation are described. In the postoperative course, angiography revealed an arterial hypoperfusion of the liver due to a steal phenomenon with blood shunting from the hepatic to the splenic artery. In one case, the underlying pathophysiology was a pre-existing filiform stenosis of the celiac trunk with insufficient recruitment of arterial blood from the superior mesenteric artery via the pancreatic arcade. Adequate liver perfusion was restored by simple ligation of the common hepatic artery. In the other case, angiography showed an arteriovenous fistula formation of the splenic vessels and minimal blood flow through the hepatic vessels. This was successfully corrected by angiographic embolization of the splenic artery with metal coils. After therapeutic intervention, both patients rapidly recovered with excellent liver function.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / complications
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / etiology*
  • Celiac Artery
  • Hepatic Artery*
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology*
  • Liver / blood supply*
  • Liver Circulation
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male