BACKGROUND: Intrahepatic abscess (IA) is an uncommon complication after liver transplantation (OLTx) usually found in the setting of hepatic arterial thrombosis (HAT) often with associated biliary tree necrosis and/or stricture. Conventional treatment of IA in this setting has required retransplantation. METHODS: A retrospective review of 274 patients (287 OLTx) from September 1991 through September 1996 was performed. Median follow-up was 3.6 years. Diagnosis of HAT was confirmed by arteriography and IA was documented by computerized tomography. Percutaneous drainage of the abscess and stenting of biliary strictures, if present, was achieved using conventional interventional radiology techniques. RESULTS: The diagnosis of hepatic artery complication was made in 14 patients (5.1%), 2 of whom required retransplantation. Hepatic artery thrombosis associated with solitary IA was found in 3 patients (1%) who were transplanted in our center and in I additional patient followed up at our center but transplanted elsewhere. All 4 patients had complete resolution of IA using this approach. Three of the 4 patients are alive and well, with the fourth patient succumbing to recurrent hepatitis B infection resulting in allograft failure. CONCLUSIONS: Solitary hepatic allograft abscesses associated with HAT respond to percutaneous drainage and antibiotics, obviating the need for retransplantation in this setting.
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