Purpose: To compare the prevalence (cadaveric vs. living donor transplants), clinical features, and the effectiveness of endovascular management of significant arterio-portal fistulae (APF) in liver transplant recipients. Methods: A retrospective audit of liver transplant recipients in two institutions was performed (1996-2009). Significant APF were included and were defined as symptomatic and/or hemodynamically significant (causing graft dysfunction and/or having abnormal Doppler findings in the portal vein). Patients with significant APF were evaluated for presenting symptoms, imaging features, size/branch order portal vein involvement, and effectiveness of the endovascular management (coil embolization). Results: Four significant APF were found in 1992 (0.2%) liver transplants. Two were symptomatic and two were asymptomatic but were hemodynamically significant with liver function test abnormalities. All four APF were found in cadaveric donor graft recipients (0.23%, N=4/1753) and none in 239 living donor graft recipients. However, there was no statistical difference between cadaveric and living donor graft recipients (p=1.0, odds ratio=1.23). Coil embolization was technically and clinically successful in all 4 without complications and causing normalization of the abnormal Doppler findings. Conclusion: Significant APF are a rare diagnosis (0.2% of transplants). Coil embolization is a safe and effective treatment option for APF in transplants.
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