Incidence and predictors of massive bleeding in children undergoing liver transplantation: A single-center retrospective analysis

Benjamin Kloesel, Pete G. Kovatsis, David Faraoni, Vanessa Young, Heung Bae Kim, Khashayar Vakili, Susan M. Goobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Liver transplantation represents a major surgery involving a highly vascular organ. Reports defining the scope of bleeding in pediatric liver transplants are few. Aims: We conducted a retrospective analysis of liver transplants performed at our pediatric tertiary care center to quantify blood loss, blood product utilization, and to determine predictors for massive intraoperative bleeding. Methods: Pediatric patients who underwent isolated liver transplantation at Boston Children's Hospital between 2011 and 2016 were included. The amount of blood product transfused in the perioperative period and the incidence of postoperative complications were reported. Univariable and multivariable logistic regressions were used to determine predictors for massive bleeding, defined as estimated blood loss exceeding one circulating blood volume within 24 hours. Results: Sixty-eight children underwent liver transplantation during the study period and were included in the analysis. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified the following independent predictors of massive bleeding: preoperative hemoglobin level <8.5 g/dL (OR 11.09, 95% CI 1.87-65.76), INR >1.5 (OR 11.62, 95% CI 2.36-57.26), platelet count <100 109/L (OR 7.92, 95% CI 1.46-43.05), and surgery duration >600 minutes (OR 6.97, 95% CI 0.99-48.92). Conclusions: Pediatric liver transplantation is associated with substantial blood loss and a significant blood product transfusion burden. A 43% incidence of massive bleeding is reported. Further efforts are needed to improve bleeding management in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalPaediatric anaesthesia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • coagulation
  • liver transplantation
  • transfusion

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