Utility of Doppler Ultrasonography in Liver Transplantation With Celiac Axis Compression Syndrome: A Case Report.


Department of Gastroenterological and Transplant Surgery, Graduate School of Biochemical and Health Sciences, Hiroshima University, Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Celiac axis compression syndrome (CACS) blocks adequate hepatic arterial flow and is a risk factor for hepatic artery thrombosis after liver transplantation. We report a case of living donor liver transplantation in a 65-year-old Brazilian male with liver cirrhosis of Child-Pugh class C and hepatocellular carcinoma caused by hepatitis C virus infection.
RESULTS : The patient underwent living donor liver transplantation using the graft of his 34-year-old daughter. Stenosis of the celiac artery was detected on preoperative computed tomography (CT), and CACS was suspected. Maintaining blood supply through the hepatic artery to prevent potential graft loss is essential in liver transplantation. A decrease in common hepatic artery (CHA) flow due to CACS could disturb graft blood supply or lead to hepatic artery thrombosis. In this case, we confirmed CACS through dynamic CT and used intraoperative Doppler ultrasonography (US) to plan the surgical procedure. Three types of hepatic artery reconstruction have been described in liver transplantation for CACS, namely the release of the median arcuate ligament (MAL), aorto-hepatic graft reconstructions, and reconstruction preserving the gastroduodenal artery (GDA) without MAL release. We found that clamping the GDA completely abolished hepatic inflow, but clamping the CHA did not change the hepatic inflow. Therefore, we performed arterial reconstruction without division of the GDA. The patient's postoperative course was good, with excellent hepatic artery flow, as assessed by Doppler US.
CONCLUSIONS : Preoperative dynamic CT evaluation, adequate preparation of surgical procedures, and intraoperative evaluation by Doppler US is recommended in liver transplantation patients with CACS.