• We evaluated the efficacy of reconstruction of the hepatic artery for intraoperative or postoperative thrombosis in orthotopic liver transplantation. Of 37 grafts with artery thrombosis, 13 (35.1%, 6 intraoperative and 7 postoperative) underwent reconstruction of the hepatic artery. The arterial flow was reestablished and maintained in 5 (38.5%) of the 13. Recurrent thrombosis in the other 8 grafts developed 2 to 24 days (mean, 13.8 days) after transplantation. Reconstruction was successful in 50% (4/8) of the adults, compared with only 20% (1/5) of the children. Satisfactory results were obtained when a definitive cause of thrombosis could be identified. We conclude that early recognition and correction of the cause of hepatic artery thrombosis during or after orthotopic liver transplantation, especially in adults, is often a graft-saving and lifesaving procedure worthy of consideration.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:628-631)