Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 2013 - Volume 258 - Issue 1 > T-tube or No T-tube in Cadaveric Orthotopic Liver Transplant...
Annals of Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e318286e0a0
Randomized Controlled Trials

T-tube or No T-tube in Cadaveric Orthotopic Liver Transplantation: The Eternal Dilemma: Results of a Prospective and Randomized Clinical Trial

López-Andújar, Rafael MD, PhD*; Orón, Eva Montalvá MD, PhD*; Carregnato, Andrés Frangi MD*; Suárez, Fabio Vergara MD*; Herraiz, Angel Moya MD, PhD*; Rodríguez, Fernando San Juan MD*; Carbó, Juan José Vila MD, PhD*; Ibars, Eugenia Pareja MD, PhD*; Sos, Javier Escrig MD, PhD; Suárez, Angel Rubín MD; Castillo, Martín Prieto MD, PhD; Pallardó, José Mir MD, PhD*; De Juan Burgueño, Manuel MD, PhD*

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Abstract

Objective: To compare the incidence and severity of biliary complications due to liver transplantation after choledochocholedochostomy with or without a T-tube in a single-center, prospective, randomized trial.

Summary Background Data: The usefulness of the T-tube for end-to-end biliary anastomosis to reduce the incidence of biliary complications in patients undergoing liver transplantation has been controversial.

Methods: A per-protocol analysis was designed for liver recipients, who were randomly assigned to choledochocholedochostomy with (n = 95) or without (n = 92) a T-tube.

Results: The overall biliary complication rate was 22.5% (n = 42), with no difference between groups (P = 0.35). The majority (66.7%) of complications in the T-tube group were types I and II, whereas 50% were type IIIa and 44% were type IIIb in the non–T-tube group (P < 0.0001). Fewer anastomotic strictures were found in the T-tube group (n = 2, 2.1%) than in the non–T-tube group (n = 13, 14.1%; P = 0.002). No difference in anastomotic biliary leakage was observed between groups. Biliary complication–free survival rates showed that complications appeared earlier in the T-tube group. Graft and patient survival rates were similar in both groups.

Conclusions: Complications in the T-tube group were less severe and required less aggressive treatment. The incidence of anastomotic strictures was higher in patients with no T-tube. We recommend conducting choledochocholedochostomy with a rubber T-tube during liver transplantation in risky anastomosis and when the bile duct diameter is less than 7 mm.

This study is registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov: Clinical trial ID# NCT01546064.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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