Doppler Ultrasound of Vascular Complications After Pediatric Liver Transplantation: Incidence, Time of Detection, and Positive Predictive Value

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Purpose Doppler ultrasound (DUS) is widely used to detect vascular complications after pediatric liver transplantation (LT). This study aimed to assess the moment of first detection of vascular complications with DUS, and to determine the positive predictive value (PPV) of DUS. Materials and Methods Patients aged 0-18 years who underwent LT between 2015 and 2019 were retrospectively included. 92 LTs in 83 patients were included (median age: 3.9 years, interquartile range: 0.7-10.5). Patients underwent perioperative (intra-operative and immediately postoperative) and daily DUS surveillance during the first postoperative week, and at 1, 3, and 12 months. Vascular complications were categorized for the hepatic artery, portal vein, and hepatic veins. DUS findings were compared to surgical or radiological findings during the 1-year follow-up. Results 52 vascular complications were diagnosed by DUS in 35/92 LTs (38%). 15 out of 52 (28.8%) were diagnosed perioperatively, 29/52 (55.8%) were diagnosed on postoperative days 1-7, and 8/52 (15.4%) after day 7. The PPV for all vascular complications diagnosed with DUS was 92.3%. During the 1-year follow-up, 18/19 (94.7%) hepatic artery complications, 19/26 (73.1%) portal vein complications, and 7/7 (100%) hepatic vein complications were diagnosed perioperatively or during the first week. Conclusion The majority of vascular complications during the first year after pediatric LT were diagnosed by DUS perioperatively or during the first week, with a high PPV. Our findings provide important information regarding when to expect different types of vascular complications on DUS, which might improve DUS post-LT surveillance protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E36-E42
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound International Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16-Nov-2022

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