Saturday, November 27, 2010

Early Postoperative Period at Liver Transplantation

This lasts an average of 10 days and takes place in the intensive care unit. Supportive measures are taken as after any major surgical procedure; it is especially important to monitor adequate diuresis, as a good renal function will ease the use of cyclosporine. An attempt at lowering the incidence or severity of cytomegalovirus {CMV} infections is made by specific anti-CMV immunoglobulin infusions or with acyclovir. In high-risk situations, heparin is used to prevent hepatic artery thrombosis. Immunosuppression is started with i.v. methylprednisolone {10 mg/kg} and azathioprine {2 mg/kg} during the operation; i.v. cyclosporine is started postoperatively at increasing doses as soon as the hemodynamics and diuresis are satisfactory; azathioprine is discontinued when stable blood levels of cyclosporine are reached; methylprednisolone is progressively decreased down to 1 mg/kg per day at the end of the first week.

Liver Transplantation

Current results of liver transplantation indicate that 70%-80% of children treated are alive, most of them leading normal. Liver transplantation is carried out for liver diseases {inborn or acquired} wich result in death through liver cell failure and for inherited disorders exclusively or mostly in the liver without the risk of liver cell failure, but with the risk of severe extrahepatic damage.This chapter reviews briefly the main surgical and postsurgical aspects of liver transplantation performed so far in patients with inborn errors of metabolism.