Outflow obstruction after living donor liver transplantation managed with a temporary vena cava filter: A case report

Yitian Fang, Adriaan Moelker, Caroline M. den Hoed, Robert J. Porte, Robert C. Minnee*, Markus U. Boehnert

*Corresponding author for this work

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Outflow obstruction is a rare but critical vascular complication in liver transplantation, which may lead to graft loss and mortality. We report a case of caval vein outflow obstruction due to retrohepatic compression after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), which was managed by temporary implantation of a vena cava filter. 

Presentation of case: 

A 63-year-old male with end stage liver disease presented with caval vein outflow obstruction and massive ascites 12 days after right lobe LDLT. We opted for a minimally invasive approach and implanted a vena cava filter at the compressed site through transjugular route. The patient's ascites drainage significantly decreased and graft function maintained stable after the intervention. On day 50 posttransplant, the filter was successfully removed and the patient was discharged without complications. 


Outflow obstruction after liver transplantation can result from anastomotic stenosis, graft size mismatch, thrombosis or compression of the outflow tract. Various management strategies have been employed both peri- and posttransplant, ranging from surgical interventions to minimally-invasive techniques. The treatment strategy should be tailored to the individual case, considering the timing of presentation and the specific cause for the obstruction. 


We successfully managed a case of compressive outflow obstruction by temporary implantation of a vena cava filter after LDLT. The vena cava filter was safely removed under angiography.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108981
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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