Biliary complications following liver transplantation

Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Jun;55(6):1540-6. doi: 10.1007/s10620-010-1217-2. Epub 2010 Apr 22.


The aphorism that reconstruction of the biliary anastomosis is the "Achilles heel" of liver transplantation remains valid as biliary complications following liver transplantation remain a major source of morbidity with an incidence of 5-32%. Biliary complications include biliary strictures, biliary leaks, and stones. Biliary strictures can be divided into anastomotic and non-anastomotic. The management of biliary complications previously relied on surgical intervention. However, advances in endoscopic and radiological interventions have resulted in less-invasive options. The management of biliary complications post-liver transplantation requires a multidisciplinary approach and continues to evolve. Biliary complications also reflect the continued expansion of the donor pool with extended, live, and non-heart beating donors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biliary Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / etiology*
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / therapy
  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures
  • Brain Death
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Gallstones / etiology
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Reoperation
  • Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction / etiology
  • Tissue Donors / supply & distribution*
  • Treatment Outcome