Endoscopic treatment of postorthotopic liver transplantation anastomotic biliary strictures with maximal stent therapy (with video)

James H. Tabibian, Emad H. Asham, Steven Han, Sammy Saab, Myron J. Tong, Leonard Goldstein, Ronald W. Busuttil, Francisco A. Durazo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal endoscopic protocol for treating postorthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) anastomotic biliary strictures (ABSs) has not been established. Objective: To review the technique and outcomes of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with maximal stenting for post-OLT ABSs at our institution. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Tertiary-care center. Patients: Eighty-three patients with a diagnosis of ABS. Interventions: ERCP with balloon dilation and maximal stenting. Main Outcome Measurements: Stricture resolution, stricture recurrence, and complication rates. Results: Of 83 patients, 69 completed treatment, of whom 65 (94%) achieved resolution and 4 (6%) required hepaticojejunostomy (HJ). The remaining 14 patients who did not achieve a study endpoint were excluded (9 deaths or redo OLT unrelated to biliary disease, and 5 without follow-up). Comparing the resolution group and the HJ group, there were, respectively, 8.0 and 3.5 total stents (P = .021), 2.5 and 1.3 stents per ERCP (P = .018) (maximum = 9), 4.2 and 2.8 ERCPs (P = .15), and 20 and 22 months from OLT to ABS diagnosis (P = .19). There were 2 cases of ERCP pancreatitis (0.7%) and 2 cases of periprocedural bacteremia of 286 total ERCPs and no episodes of cholangitis caused by stent occlusion. In a median follow-up of 11 months (range 0-39), 2 (3%) patients had ABS recurrence that was successfully re-treated with ERCP. A multivariate Cox model demonstrated that treatment success was directly related to the number of stents used in total and per ERCP. Limitations: Retrospective study, single endoscopist. Conclusions: Our maximal stenting protocol for ABSs is effective, safe, rarely associated with ABS recurrence, and conducive to less frequent stent exchange and therefore fewer ERCPs compared with conventional treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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