Somatostatin as Inflow Modulator in Liver-transplant Recipients With Severe Portal Hypertension: A Randomized Trial

Roberto Ivan Troisi, Aude Vanlander, Mariano Cesare Giglio, Jurgen Van Limmen, Luigia Scudeller, Bjorn Heyse, Luc De Baerdemaeker, Alexander Croo, Dirk Voet, Marleen Praet, Anne Hoorens, Giulia Antoniali, Erika Codarin, Gianluca Tell, Hendrik Reynaert, Isabelle Colle, Mauricio Sainz-Barriga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the safety and efficacy of somatostatin as liver inflow modulator in patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH) undergoing liver transplantation (LT) ( number,01290172).

BACKGROUND: In LT, portal hyperperfusion can severely impair graft function and survival, mainly in cases of partial LT.

METHODS: Thirty-three patients undergoing LT for ESLD and CSPH were randomized double-blindly to receive somatostatin or placebo (2:1). The study drug was administered intraoperatively as 5-mL bolus (somatostatin: 500 μg), followed by a 2.5 mL/h infusion (somatostatin: 250 μg/h) for 5 days. Hepatic and systemic hemodynamics were measured, along with liver function tests and clinical outcomes. The ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) was analyzed through histological and protein expression analysis.

RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients (18 receiving somatostatin, 11 placebo) were included in the final analysis. Ten patients responded to somatostatin bolus, with a significant decrease in hepatic venous portal gradient (HVPG) and portal flow of -28.3% and -29.1%, respectively. At graft reperfusion, HVPG was lower in patients receiving somatostatin (-81.7% vs -58.8%; P = 0.0084), whereas no difference was observed in the portal flow (P = 0.4185). Somatostatin infusion counteracted the decrease in arterial flow (-10% vs -45%; P = 0.0431). There was no difference between the groups in the severity of IRI, incidence of adverse events, long-term complications, graft, and patient survival.

CONCLUSIONS: Somatostatin infusion during LT in patients with CSPH is safe, reduces the HVPG, and preserves the arterial inflow to the graft. This study establishes the efficacy of somatostatin as a liver inflow modulator.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sept 21 2018


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