Portal venous gas after hepatic transplantation: sonographic detection and clinical significance.
In seven (18%) of 39 liver transplantation patients, serial Doppler sonographic examinations performed in the first 2 weeks after the transplantation showed transient, highly echogenic nonshadowing particles moving within the portal vein, believed to be portal venous air. This finding was associated with sepsis in one patient, a positive stool culture for Clostridium difficile in another, and postoperative ileus in a third patient. A fourth patient had primary graft failure and required a second transplant. No potential cause was found in the other three patients. None of the patients had bowel infarction or necrosis. The finding was not associated with transplant rejection or graft infection. We conclude that the sonographic finding of portal venous gas is common in the first 2 weeks after hepatic transplantation and may not have grave prognostic significance.
Chezmar, JL; Nelson, RC; Bernardino, ME
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