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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


NUTU, Oana-Anisa et al. Complete splenic embolization for the treatment of refractory ascites after liver transplantation. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2018, vol.110, n.4, pp.257-259. ISSN 1130-0108.

Refractory ascites is an uncommon complication that may develop postoperatively after liver transplantation. The diagnosis and treatment of this condition is a real challenge. We report two cases of patients who underwent a transplant due to cryptogenic cirrhosis and developed refractory ascites during the immediate postoperative period. This is a serious complication associated with decreased survival by up to one year and a reduced quality of life. After ruling out the main causes of ascites, a portal hyperflow was a potential etiology. This condition perpetuates itself with splenic circulation and brings about a reduction in the hepatic arterial flow. Therefore, if arterial blood flow to the spleen is diminished, venous return and portal circulation will be reduced and arterial blood flow will improve. Splenic artery embolization is a procedure introduced many years ago for the management of splenic artery steal syndrome and small-for-size living donor liver transplantation. This procedure is performed in order to reduce portal hyperflow and consequently, ascites. In conclusion, splenic artery embolization is a therapeutic option for the treatment of refractory ascites after liver transplantation.

Keywords : Spleen embolization; Refractory ascites; Liver transplantation.

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