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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 138-142

Retrospective analysis of post-transplant liver biopsies – From diagnosis to therapy – Can we guide further? Experience from a tertiary care center in India

1 Department of Histopathology, SRL Limited, Fortis Escorts, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Hepatology, Fortis Hospital, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Hepatology, Fortis Escorts Liver and Digestive Institute, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Liver Transplant Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, New Delhi, India
5 Department of Gastroenterology, Fortis Escorts Liver and Digestive Institute, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nalini Bansal
SRL Ltd, Fortis Escorts, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijot.ijot_11_17

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Background and Aim: Post-transplant liver biopsies form a critical part of management of complications arising post-transplant. The objective of this study was to analyze the Indian experience in pathologic diagnosis of liver biopsies after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) with special emphasis on cases presenting with intrahepatic cholestasis (IHC). Type, incidence, and timing of major complications were analyzed. All cases with IHC were retrospectively analyzed with clinical inputs to look for cryptic clues in subclassifying such cases. Materials and Methods: Forty-five post-transplant liver biopsies from 39 OLT patients were retrospectively analyzed from May 2015 to May 2016. All biopsies were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's Trichrome, and other stains were performed as required. Results: The number of liver biopsies performed for each patient ranged from 1 to 3. The timing of these biopsies varied from 5 days to >4 years post-transplant. Of the 39 patients who underwent post-transplant liver biopsies, most common etiology of a liver transplant was hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related chronic liver disease in 66.6% cases. The common complications post-transplant were acute cellular rejection (ACR) (33.3%), biliary stricture (13.3%), HCV recurrence (11.1%), plasma cell hepatitis (4.4%), chronic hepatitis (4.4%), IHC (22.2%), and others. On analysis of post transplant biopsy cases with IHC, we found that patients with high baseline HCV RNA levels had recurrences presenting only with prominent IHC without fibrosis and ballooning of hepatocytes. These changes might represent early stages of fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis (FCH). Conclusions: This study evaluated the types, incidence, and timing of major complications occurring after OLT. ACR remains major complication following transplant. The presence of IHC on biopsy, especially in HCV-positive patients, should prompt anti-HCV therapy even if other features of FCH were not found.

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