Neuromuscular complications associated with liver transplantation

Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, William J. Litchy, Russell H. Wiesner, Ruud A.F. Krom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We studied neuromuscular complications in a cohort of 520 patients with liver transplantation. Perioperative mononeuropathy developed in 9 patients. The peroneal nerve, radial nerve, and cutaneous branch of the femoral nerve were affected in 2 patients each. Two patients had herpes zoster-associated radiculopathy, and 1 patient had Horner's syndrome. Recovery was good in most patients. In 7 patients, severe quadriplegia complicated the perioperative course. In 5 patients, electrophysiologic studies suggested acute necrotic myopathy, and muscle biopsy specimens showed evidence of rhabdomyolysis in 1 patient. Outcome in survivors was good, all recovering completely. We conclude that neuromuscular complications in liver transplantation are uncommon (less than 1%) and do not significantly contribute to morbidity. Mononeuropathies may have iatrogenic perioperative causes, and rhabdomyolysis may be an important cause of generalized muscle weakness after liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-700
Number of pages5
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • liver transplantation
  • mononeuropathy
  • myopathy
  • neurologic sequelae
  • quadriplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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