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      Somatostatin and propranolol to treat small-for-size syndrome that occurred despite splenic artery ligation.

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          We report our success with somatostatin and propranolol to treat small-for-size syndrome that occurred despite splenic artery ligation. A 48-year-old woman with cirrhosis due to autoimmune hepatitis underwent living-donor liver transplant; her graft-to-body weight ratio of the right lobe was 0.91%. After arterial reperfusion, portal pressure and flow were 24 cm H20 and 2.22 L/min (ie, 360 mL/100g graft/min), respectively. Following splenic artery ligation, the portal pressure decreased to 16 cm H20 and portal flow to 1.74 L/min (ie, 282 mL/100g graft/min). On the second postoperative day, small-for-size syndrome was diagnosed based on the marked prolongation of prothrombin time (international normalized ratio, 4.4), hyperbilirubinemia (359.1 micromol/L), rapid escalation of transaminases (alanine aminotransferase 2488 U/L, aspartate aminotransferase 1075 U/L) and very high portal flow rate (> 90 cm/sec). Oral propranolol (40 mg/day b.i.d.) and somatostatin infusion (250-microgram bolus followed by perfusion at a rate of 250 microgram/h for 5 days) were started. Prothrombin time and transaminase levels began to decrease the following day, although the bilirubin level increased to 495.9 micromol/L before returning to normal. The patient was discharged in excellent health 5 weeks after surgery. Despite reduction of portal pressure by splenic artery ligation, small-for-size syndrome may develop in patients with persistent high portal flow. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the successful treatment of small-for-size syndrome by somatostatin and propranolol in the clinical setting.

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          Author and article information

          Exp Clin Transplant
          Experimental and clinical transplantation : official journal of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation
          Dec 2007
          : 5
          : 2
          [1 ] Department of General Surgery, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. iozden@hotmail.com


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