Background: Bacterial sepsis is a significant problem that must be addressed after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Study Design: A retrospective analysis of 346 adult-to-adult LDLT patients was performed. Results: Forty-six patients (13.3%) experienced bacterial sepsis, with primary and secondary origins in 23.9% and 76.1%, respectively. Gram-negative bacteria accounted for 71.7% of the bacteria isolated. The 2-year cumulative graft survival rate in patients with bacterial sepsis was 45.7%. Patients with bacterial sepsis secondary to pneumonia (n = 12) had poorer 2-year graft survival rates (16.7%) than did those with primary or other types of secondary sepsis (p = 0.004). Multivariate analysis showed that intraoperative massive blood loss >10L (p < 0.001) and no enteral feeding started within 48 hours after transplantation (p = 0.005) were significant risk factors for bacterial sepsis. Among patients who received enteral nutrition, the incidences of bacterial sepsis in patients who received enteral nutrition within 48 hours (n = 135) or later than 48 hours (n = 57) were 5.9% and 21.0%, respectively (p = 0.002). The incidence of early graft loss was 8-fold higher in recipients with massive intraoperative blood loss without early enteral nutrition (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Early enteral nutrition was associated with significantly reduced risk of developing bacterial sepsis after LDLT.
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