Doppler Characteristics of Recurrent Hepatic Artery Stenosis

J Ultrasound Med. 2017 Jan;36(1):209-216. doi: 10.7863/ultra.16.02014. Epub 2016 Dec 2.


Objectives: We sought to assess midterm sonographic findings in patients after stenting for hepatic artery stenosis.

Methods: Thirty-nine hepatic artery stent procedures were performed for hepatic artery stenosis after liver transplantation between September 2009 and December 2013. Thirty cases were technically successful and met the minimum follow-up time (76 days, defined by earliest diagnosed stenosis). Routine ultrasound surveillance was obtained on all patients, and statistical analysis of the findings in the patency and restenosis groups was performed.

Results: Of the 30 cases, restenosis occurred 9 times in 6 patients. Mean follow-up was 677 days. Mean time to restenosis was 267 days. Five cases (56%) were identified within the first 6 months after stent placement. Four cases (44%) were recognized in the second year after stent placement. Prior to the sonographic diagnosis of restenosis, the mean resistive indices of the main (.64 versus .57, P < .0001), left (.63 versus .54, P < .0001), right anterior (.60 versus .52, P < .0001), and right posterior (.60 versus .53, P = .001) hepatic artery branches differed among patency and restenosis groups, respectively. The mean peak systolic velocity also differed significantly between the 2 groups: 254 cm/sec in patients with eventual restenosis versus 220 cm/sec in patients without restenosis (P = .02).

Conclusions: The sonographic evaluation of hepatic artery stenosis remains critical during the first 2 years after stent placement. While the vast majority of patients do not restenose, resistive index and peak systolic velocity differed significantly between the 2 groups and may be prognostic surveillance markers for the development of restenosis.

Keywords: hepatic artery stenosis; liver transplant; stent evaluation; vascular surgery.