Portal vein thrombosis and liver transplantation: Evolution during 10 years of experience at the university of bologna

Matteo Ravaioli, Matteo Zanello, Gian Luca Grazi, Giorgio Ercolani, Matteo Cescon, Massimo Del Gaudio, Alessandro Cucchetti, Antonio Daniele Pinna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the evolution of liver transplantation (LT) in cases with partial and total portal vein thrombosis (PVT). Background: Portal vein thrombosis and in particular total PVT are still surgically demanding conditions, which can exclude patients from LT or increase the postoperative complications after LT. Methods: We reviewed our 10-year experience (first era 1998-2002 and second era 2003-2008), comparing the outcome of patients with PVT to a group without PVT. Results: Among 889 LTs, we intraoperatively diagnosed 91 PVTs (10.2%): 51 partial PVTs (56%) and 40 total PVTs (44%). The rate of complete PVTs increased from the first to the second era (2.2% vs. 6.7%, P <0.005). Partial PVTs were mainly treated with thrombectomy while complete PVTs were managed with thrombectomy in 26 cases (63%), jumping graft in 6 (15%), portocaval hemitransposition in 6 (15%), and anastomosis to varix in 3 (7%). Among cases of PVT and no-PVT, the postoperative mortalitywas comparable (6.6% vs. 5.8%), aswere the 1- and 5-year patient survival rates (85% and 68% PVT vs. 86% and 73% non-PVT). The postoperative outcome was similar in the PVT group between patients with partial and complete PVT, but in this last group, patient survival differed significantly between the 1st and 2nd era (57% vs. 89% at 1 year, P <0.05). Conclusions: Liver transplantation offers good survival in patients with partial PVT but also in selected cases with total PVT, where surgical innovation has improved the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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