Recent reports describe formation of collateral vessels in children who have hepatic artery thrombosis after liver transplantation. This led us to reevaluate the role of duplex Doppler imaging in this population. Among 135 pediatric liver transplant patients, 20 had arteriography for suspected hepatic artery thrombosis. Duplex and/or color Doppler imaging was performed in 13 of these children. The Doppler examination failed to show hepatic artery signals in five patients. Arteriography showed hepatic artery thrombosis in all five. In three of these, subsequent Doppler examinations showed reappearance of arterial Doppler signals. Arteriography confirmed the interval development of collaterals. Hepatic artery signals were found on the Doppler examinations of the remaining eight patients. Four had normal arteriograms, but the remaining four had hepatic artery thrombosis with collateral formation. Patients with hepatic artery thrombosis and collateral circulation tended to have increased distolic flow (decreased resistive index). In addition, early scans clearly identified patients with complete thrombosis before collateral formation. On the basis of our preliminary experience, a child with a liver transplant and a clinical history strongly suggestive of hepatic artery compromise should have arteriography despite an apparently normal Doppler examination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging