The aim of the study was to assess whether there is a difference in outcome after sequential or simultaneous revascularization during orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in terms of patient and graft survival, mortality, morbidity, and liver function. The study population consisted of 102 adult patients with primary full-size piggyback OLT transplanted between January 1998 and December 2001. In 71 patients (70%) the grafts were sequentially reperfused after completion of the portal vein anastomosis and subsequent arterial reconstruction was performed (sequential reperfusion [SeqR] group). In 31 patients (30%) the graft was reperfused simultaneously via the portal vein and hepatic artery (simultaneous reperfusion [SimR] group). Patient and graft survival at 1, 3, and 6 months and at 1 year did not differ between the SeqR group and the SimR group. The red blood cell (RBC) requirements were significantly higher in the SimR group (5.5 units; range 0-20) in comparison to the SeqR group (2 units; range 0-19) (P = 0.02). Apart from a higher number of biliary anastomotic complications and abdominal bleeding complications in the SimR group in comparison to the SeqR group (13% vs. 2% and 19% vs. 6%, respectively; P = 0.06), morbidity was not different between the groups. No differences between the groups were observed regarding the incidence of primary non-function (PNF), intensive care unit stay, and acute rejection. This was also true for the severity of rejections. Post-operative recuperation of liver function was not different between the groups. In conclusion, no advantage of either of the 2 reperfusion protocols could be observed in this analysis, especially with respect to the incidence of ischemic type biliary lesions (ITBL).
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