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Health Professionals BlogLiver Transplantation

Hepatic artery thrombosis and use of anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents in pediatric liver transplantation

Title: Hepatic artery thrombosis and use of anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents in pediatric liver transplantation 

Source: Pediatric Transplantation 2023, August 7. [Epublication] 

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Date of publication: August 2023 

Publication type: Article 

Abstract: Background: Hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) is a reported complication of 5%-10% of pediatric liver transplantations, rates 3-4 times that seen in adults. Early HAT (seen within 14 days after transplant) can lead to severe allograft damage and possible urgent re-transplantation. In this report, we present our analysis of HAT in pediatric liver transplant from a national clinical database and examine the association of HAT with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication administered in the post-operative period.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Pediatric Health Information System database maintained by the Children’s Hospital Association. For each liver transplant recipient identified in a 10-year period, diagnosis, demographic, and medication data were collected and analyzed.

Results: Our findings showed an average rate of HAT of 6.3% across 31 centers. Anticoagulant and antiplatelet medication strategies varied distinctly among and even within centers, likely due to the fact there are no consensus guidelines. Notably, in centers with similar medication usage, HAT rates continue to vary. At the patient level, use of aspirin within the first 72 h of transplantation was associated with a decreased risk of HAT, consistent with other reports in the literature.

Conclusion: We suggest that concerted efforts to standardize anticoagulation approaches in pediatric liver transplant may be of benefit in the prevention of HAT. A prospective multi-institutional study of regimen-possibly including aspirin-following transplantation could have significant value.

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