Background: End stage liver disease (ESLD) is associated with significant thrombotic complications. In this study, we attempted to determine if patients with ESLD, due to oncologic or autoimmune diseases, are susceptible to thrombosis to a greater extent than patients with ESLD due to other causes. Methods: In this retrospective study, we analyzed the UNOS database to determine the incidence of thrombotic complications in orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) recipients with autoimmune and oncologic conditions. Between 2000 and 2012, 65,646 OLTs were performed. We found 4,247 cases of preoperative portal vein thrombosis (PVT) and 1,233 cases of postoperative vascular thrombosis (VT) leading to graft failure. Results: Statistical evaluation demonstrated that patients with either hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or autoimmune hepatitis (AIC) had a higher incidence of PVT (p = 0.05 and 0.03 respectively). Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and AIC had a higher incidence of postoperative VT associated with graft failure (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p = 0.05 respectively). Patients with preoperative PVT had a higher incidence of postoperative VT (p < 0.0001). Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated that patients with AIC, and BMI ≥40, having had a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, and those with diabetes mellitus were more likely to have preoperative PVT: odds ratio (OR)(1.36, 1.19, 1.78, 1.22 respectively). Patients with PSC, PBC, AIC, BMI ≤18, or with a preoperative PVT were more likely to have a postoperative VT: OR (1.93, 2.09, 1.64, 1.60, and 2.01, respectively). Conclusion: Despite the limited number of variables available in the UNOS database potentially related to thrombotic complications, this analysis demonstrates a clear association between autoimmune causes of ESLD and perioperative thrombotic complications. Perioperative management of patients at risk should include strategies to reduce the potential for these complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalBMC Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 21 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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