Intracardiac thrombosis during liver transplant: A 17-year single-institution study

Prith Peiris, Sher Lu Pai, Stephen Aniskevich, Claudia C. Crawford, Klaus D. Torp, Beth L. Ladlie, Timothy S. Shine, C. Burcin Taner, Justin H. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Intracardiac thrombosis (ICT) during orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is an uncommon event. However, it is a devastating complication with high mortality when it occurs. This study aimed to identify possible predisposing factors for ICT during OLT. We retrospectively identified the cases of all patients with ICT during OLT at our institution from 1998 to 2014. Of 2750 OLTs performed, 10 patients had ICT intraoperatively. The patients' immediate prethrombosis intraoperative hemodynamic and coagulation values and thromboelastography (TEG) data were reviewed. Preexisting venous thrombosis, atrial fibrillation, and the prior placement of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt for portal hypertension were noted in several patients and may be related to ICT during OLT. A high Model of End-Stage Liver Disease score, low cardiac output, and sepsis did not appear to be associated with ICT. ICT occurred in some patients without the administration of antifibrinolytic agents. TEG and coagulation parameters did not appear to be helpful in predicting the onset of ICT. Four patients had ICT in both right- and left-sided heart chambers; none of these 4 patients survived. All 6 patients with only right-sided thrombus survived. In those who survived, improved hemodynamics and clot disappearance on transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) occurred over time, even without the use of thrombolytics. Whether this is because of endogenous thrombolysis or distal clot propagation into the pulmonary vasculature, or both, is unclear. Tissue plasminogen activator may have a role in the resuscitation procedure. In conclusion, without the routine use of TEE during OLT, the incidence of ICT will remain an under-recognized event. Liver Transpl 21:1280-1285, 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1285
Number of pages6
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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