Nonoperative management of biliary leaks after orthotopic liver transplantation

Robert W. Osorio, Chris E. Freise, Peter G. Stock, John R. Lake, Jeanne M. Laberge, Roy L. Gordon, Ernest J. Ring, Nancy L. Ascher, John P. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Specific therapy should be instituted expeditiously once the diagnosis of a biliary leak has been made in patients who have undergone orthotopic liver transplantation. Controversy exists over whether to use nonoperative or operative management. The results of 325 consecutive orthotopic liver transplants in 297 adult and pediatric recipients were reviewed. The biliary tract was reconstructed using a choledochocholedochostomy anastomosis (254/325 or 78%) or a Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy anastomosis (71/325 or 22%). The incidence of biliary leaks was 23% (74/325). Overall, only 3% (10/325) of the orthotopic liver transplant recipients required operative repair of a biliary leak. Biliary leaks occurring in patients with Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy anastomoses (9/71 or 13%) commonly required operative repair (6/9 or 67%), whereas leaks that occurred in patients with choledochocholedochostomy anastomoses (65/254 or 26%) seldom required operative repair (4/65 or 6%). All choledochojejunostomy leaks occurred at the anastomosis, whereas choledochocholedochostomy leaks occurred either at the anastomosis (17/254 or 7%) or the T-tube insertion site (45/254 or 18%). Our study confirms that in centers with proficient endoscopic and interventional radiologic support, resolution of biliary leaks in orthotopic liver transplant patients can be achieved with nonoperative management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1074-1077
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1993
Externally publishedYes


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