Therapeutic anticoagulation after liver transplantation is not useful among patients with pre-transplant Yerdel-grade I/II portal vein thrombosis: A two-center retrospective study
BACKGROUND Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is no longer a contraindication for liver transplantation (LT). While therapeutic anticoagulation (tAC) is recommended during the waiting period, there is no evidence for its usefulness in the prevention of PVT recurrence after LT. OBJECTIVES The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of tAC post-LT in the prevention of PVT recurrence. PATIENTS/METHODS All adult LTs performed in two high-volume centers between 2003 and 2018 were retrospectively analysed. Only patients with PVT classified as Yerdel grade I or II and with standard portal reconstruction were included. PVT recurrence and tAC-associated morbidity within 1 year were compared between patients receiving tAC or not. RESULTS During the study period, of 2612 LTs performed, 235 (9%) patients with PVT were included; 113 patients (48.1%) received post-LT tAC (tAC group) while 122 (51.9%) did not (non-tAC group). The incidence of bleeding events was significantly higher in the tAC group (26 [23%] vs. 5 [4.1%], P < .01) and the initial hospitalization duration was longer (21 vs. 17.5 days, P < .01). Within the first year, PVT recurrence was observed for 9 (3.8%) patients without any difference between the tAC and non-tAC groups (6 [5.1%] vs. 3 [2.5%], P = .39). The only identified risk factor for PVT recurrence was the recipients' age (odds ratio= 0.94, P = .03). Graft (P = .11) and patient (P = .44) survival were similar between the two groups. CONCLUSION Therapeutic anticoagulation is not necessary in the prevention of grade I/II PVT recurrence and is associated with higher morbidity and longer hospital stay.