Introduction: Bleeding and thrombotic complications contribute to morbidity and mortality following paediatric orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). However, the pathophysiology of haemostasis during paediatric OLT is not well understood. This report consists of two complimentary studies examining the frequency of haemostatic complications before and after the introduction of a post-operative thrombin inhibitor replacement therapy protocol at a single institution. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of 40 patients who underwent 43 liver transplants between July 1992 and July 2002, identified bleeding to be the most frequent complication associated with OLT (30%), however thrombotic complications were also common (12.5%). In 2003, following a detailed analysis of haemostatic profiles of children undergoing OLT, a thrombin inhibitor replacement protocol was introduced. A prospective clinical outcome audit was undertaken from April 2003 to September 2008 to determine the effect of the new protocol on haemostasis. Results: Commencement of the thrombin inhibitor replacement protocol significantly reduced the incidence of thrombosis (from 5 to 1, p < 0.05), graft loss (from 4 to none, p < 0.05), mortality due to thrombosis or bleeding (from 3 to none, p < 0.05) and was associated with a 50% reduction in frequency of major bleeding. Conclusion: In conclusion, the introduction of a post-operative thrombin inhibitor replacement therapy protocol following paediatric OLT significantly improved haemostasis-related morbidity and mortality outcomes in children.
- Thrombin generation
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