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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Biancofiore G. 1, Della Rocca G. 2
1 Anestesia e Rianimazione SSN, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italia;
2 Dipartimento di Anestesia e Terapia Intensiva, Università degli Studi di Udine, Udine, Italia
BACKGROUND: No data are available on the perioperative approach during orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in Italy, apart from sporadically single center studies.
METHODS: The Department of Anesthesia cooperating with each Italian licensed OLT center received a questionnaire regarding preoperative evaluation, intraoperative anesthesia management, anesthetic drugs, blood components therapy, perioperative monitoring, supportive therapies, postoperative care, staff and organization.
RESULTS: Twenty-two centers were surveyed and 17 returned the questionnaire. Center specific protocols for OLT anesthesia exist in 12 centers. Balanced anesthesia (volatile anesthetic agents and continuous infusion of opioids) is the standard anesthetic method. In 14 cases a thromboelastogram is available; one center reported not to have a rapid infusion device available. Pulmonary artery catheterization with a continuous cardiac output device is the most used hemodynamic monitoring system; in case of hemodynamic instability, the combination of dopamine/noradrenaline resulted the first choice before vascular clamping whereas noradrenaline alone after graft’s reperfusion. No difference about which intraoperative phase is mostly characterized by the use of blood components was reported. Postoperative care is provided on anesthesiological-guided Intensive Care Units (ICU) in all the surveyed centers and in three centers the ICU is dedicated only to transplant patients.
CONCLUSION: The results of this survey show that in Italy the perioperative management of patients undergoing OLT is not homogeneous. This database allows to debate on the best practices and pathways for perioperative management of these patients, and to stimulate future clinical trials aimed to assess the different component and steps forwards of the whole process.