Since a 1989 report demonstrating successful living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), living donors have been increasingly used to overcome the disparity between organ supply and demand, especially in the cases of pediatric patients. Although short-term graft outcomes after LDLT have improved significantly because of progress in surgical techniques and immunosuppression, biliary stricture (BS) remains the Achilles heel of pediatric LDLT and is the major cause of significant long-term morbidity. BS results in poor quality of life or even in graft loss after LDLT, with a reported incidence of BS after pediatric LDLT of 10% to 35%. The suggested risk factors for BS after LDLT are hepatic arterial thrombosis, bile duct ischemia, acute cellular rejection, older donor age, and ABO incompatibility. Duct-to-duct biliary reconstruction, which enables an endoscopic approach to be attempted after BS, is the preferred technique for LDLT. Endoscopic approaches are less invasive and more convenient for recipients than surgical and percutaneous interventions. However, the major cause of end-stage liver disease in pediatric recipients is biliary atresia, and hepaticojejunostomy is needed to reconstruct the bile duct because of the lack of recipient bile duct. Endoscopic approaches for BS are usually less favorable in patients with hepaticojejunostomy than in those with duct-to-duct biliary reconstruction. Treatment options for BS after hepaticojejunostomy at many centers thus involve interventional radiology or surgical reintervention. Although endoscopic approaches remain controversial in pediatric recipients, several reports have shown them to be safe and less invasive.
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