Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology - Original Article

Role of percutaneous radiological treatment in biliary complications associated with adult left lobe living donor liver transplantation: a single-center experience


Department of Radiology, Inonu University Faculty of Medicine, Malatya, Turkey


Department of General Surgery, Inonu University Faculty of Medicine, Malatya, Turkey

Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27: 546-552
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2021.20523
Read: 163 Downloads: 31 Published: 28 August 2020

Biliary complications develop at a higher rate in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) compared with cadaveric liver transplantation. Almost all studies about biliary complications after LDLT were made with the right lobe. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of biliary complications developing after adult left lobe LDLT and to evaluate the efficacy of the algorithm followed in diagnosis and treatment, particularly percutaneous radiological treatment. 

A total of 2185 LDLT operations performed in our center between May 2009 and December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed and patients receiving left lobe LDLT were analyzed regarding biliary complications and treatments. Biliary complications were treated via percutaneous drainage under ultrasound (US) guidance, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC)/ percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage (PTBD). Patient demographics, ERCP procedures before percutaneous treatment, and percutaneous treatment indications were analyzed. 

A total of 69 adult patients received left lobe LDLT. Biliary complications requiring endoscopic and/or percutaneous treatment developed in 28 patients (40%). Of these patients, 4 had bile leakage (14%), 20 had anastomosis stricture (72%), and 4 had both leakage and anastomosis stricture (14%). External drainage treatment under ultrasound guidance was sufficient for 2 of 4 patients with bile leakage, and these cases were accepted as minor bile leakage (7%). Overall, 26 patients underwent ERCP; of these,  8 were referred for PTC/PTBD because the guidewire and/or balloon-stent could not pass the anastomosis stricture (n=7) and common bile duct cannulation could not be obtained because of duodenal diverticulum (n=1). Diagnostic PTC was performed in 10 patients, 8 were referred after inadequate/failed ERCP procedure and two were referred directly without ERCP. Anastomosis stricture was found in 7 patients and anastomosis stricture and bile leakage in 3. In 7 patients determined to have stricture, balloon dilatation was applied and then biliary drainage was performed. In 3 patients who had leakage and anastomosis stricture, balloon dilatation was applied for stricture; after dilatation, an IEBD catheter was placed through the leakage region in 2 patients, while a covered metallic stent passing through the leakage region was placed in one patient. 

Generally, ERCP is the first preferred method in biliary complications of LDLT; however, in cases where a response cannot be obtained by endoscopic treatment or require complex and/or aggressive treatment, percutaneous radiological treatment should be the treatment of choice before surgery in left lobe LDLT.

You may cite this article as: Karatoprak S, Kutlu R, Yılmaz S. Role of percutaneous radiological treatment in biliary complications associated with adult left lobe living donor liver transplantation: a single-center experience. Diagn Interv Radiol 2021; 27:546-552

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