<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Biliary complications continue to be the "Achilles heel" of living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT). The use of biliary stents in LDLT to reduce biliary complications is a controversial issue. We performed a randomized trial to study the impact of intraductal biliary stents on postoperative biliary complications after LDLT.</p>
<p><strong>STUDY DESIGN: </strong>Of the 94 LDLTs that were performed during a period of 16 months, ABO-incompatible transplants, left lobe grafts, 3 or more bile ducts on the graft, and those requiring bilioenteric drainage were excluded. Eligible patients were randomized to either a study arm (intraductal stent, n = 31) or a control arm (no stent, n = 33) by block randomization. Stratification was done, based on the number of ducts on the graft requiring anastomosis, into single (n = 20) or 2 ducts (n = 44). Ureteric stents of 3F to 5F placed across the biliary anastomosis and exiting into the duodenum for later endoscopic removal at 3 months were used. The primary end point was postoperative bile leak.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Bile leak occurred in 15 of 64 (23.4%), the incidence was higher in the stented group compared with the control group (35.5% vs 12.1%; p = 0.03). Multiplicity of bile ducts and stenting were identified as risk factors for bile leak on multivariate analysis (p = 0.031 and p = 0.032). During a median follow-up of 2 years, biliary stricture developed in 9 patients (14.1%). Postoperative bile leak is a significant risk factor for the development of biliary stricture (p = 0.003).</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Intraductal transanastomotic biliary stenting and multiplicity of graft ducts were identified as independent risk factors for the development of postoperative biliary complications.</p>
K. Y. Santosh Kumar, Mathew, J. Shaji, Balakrishnan, D., Bharathan, V. Kumar, Amma, B. Sivasankar, Gopalakrishnan, U., Menon, R. Narayana, Dhar, P., Vayoth, S. Othiyil, and Sudhindran, S., “Intraductal Transanastomotic Stenting in Duct-to-Duct Biliary Reconstruction after Living-Donor Liver Transplantation: A Randomized Trial.”, J Am Coll Surg, vol. 225, no. 6, pp. 747-754, 2017.