Simultaneous surgical and interventional radiological approach to treat complicated biliary strictures after pediatric liver transplantation

Paolo R.O. Salvalaggio*, Daniel A. Bambini, James Donaldson, Martha Saker, Peter F. Whitington, Estella M. Alonso, Riccardo A. Superina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Post-transplantation biliary strictures occur in 5-15% of the pediatric liver transplant patients and are conventionally managed by interventional radiological techniques. Failure of this treatment leads to reoperation and sometimes to retransplantation. Herein, we describe a surgical approach and interventional radiologic approach to manage biliary strictures that failed the conventional radiologic treatment, in order to avoid retransplantation. Included in the study were eight children who underwent liver transplantation at our center or referred to our institution for evaluation of the biliary strictures that failed radiological treatment. Biliary strictures were confirmed by a narrowing of the biliary anastomosis on the percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram. At surgery, a guide wire was introduced into the distal bile system through the use of an enterotomy in Roux limb. Over the guide wire, the stricture was ballooned and the diameter of the biliary tree was determined. A pigtail catheter was introduced on the biliary tree across the abdominal wall, the liver, the stricture and the anastomosis into the enterotomy. A final cholangiogram confirmed the positioning of the catheter. Mean follow-up was 39.8 ± 20.8 months. All patients had their strictures successfully treated and survived the procedure. Three patients were readmitted to the hospital with fever. It was necessary to revise the hepaticojejunostomy in three patients because of cholangitis and/or recurrence of biliary stricture. Of the eight patients of this study, two required retransplantation and one died. We conclude that an aggressive combined surgical and radiologic approach can avoid retransplantation in patients with complicated post-transplant biliary strictures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-516
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Biliary structures
  • Liver transplantation
  • Pediatric
  • Radiological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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