Background: Several studies have suggested an association between post-transplant immunoglobulin (Ig) levels and the development of infection in solid organ transplantation. We therefore conducted exploratory analyses of potential factors associated with bacterial infection/sepsis after living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Methods: Blood samples from 177 recipients who received primary LDLT between September 1999 and November 2011 were available for study. Hypogammaglobulinemia was defined as having at least 1 IgG level <650 mg/dL within 7 days after LDLT. Risk factors for developing post-transplant bacterial infection and sepsis within 3 months after LDLT were analyzed. Results: Fifty (28.2%) recipients experienced bacterial infection within 3 months of LDLT. Eighty-four (47.5%) recipients had hypogammaglobulinemia, although no recipients had hypogammaglobulinemia before LDLT. Hypogammaglobulinemia, undergoing hepaticojejunostomy, and portal pressure at closure >15 mmHg were independent risk factors for developing bacterial infection within 3 months of LDLT (P < 0.0001 P = 0.0008, and P = 0.011, respectively). The odds ratio (OR) and confidence interval (CI) for hypogammaglobulinemia were 4.79 and 2.27-10.7, respectively. Twenty-four (13.6%) recipients developed bacterial sepsis within 3 months. Hypogammaglobulinemia, operative time >14 h, model for end-stage liver disease score >15, and no mycophenolate mofetil use were independent risk factors for developing bacterial sepsis (P = 0.009, P = 0.001, P = 0.003, and P = 0.005, respectively). The OR and CI for hypogammaglobulinemia were 3.83 and 1.38-12.0, respectively. Conclusions: Hypogammaglobulinemia within 7 days of LDLT was a significant risk factor for post-transplant bacterial infection and sepsis.
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