Biliary obstruction in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients: An uncommon diagnosis with specific causes

C. S. Murakami, W. Louie, G. S. Chan, M. O'Donnell, D. David, S. J. Forman, G. B. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Jaundice is a common problem in marrow transplant recipients. The incidence of bile duct obstruction in this setting is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of biliary obstruction, the causes, and outcomes following marrow transplant. Consecutive cases were reviewed at two major transplant centers in the United States from 1969 to 1996 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and 1989 to 1996 at the City of Hope National Medical Center. Nine cases of biliary obstruction were identified as a cause of jaundice in 7412 marrow transplant recipients, an incidence of 0.12%. The presentation was bimodal, with seven cases occurring prior to day 100 and two occurring 2 to 4 years after transplantation. The age distribution was 15 to 50 years and all patients had received allogeneic transplants. The causes of obstruction included gallbladder sludge (n = 1), a duodenal hematoma (n = 1), choledocholithiasis with biliary pancreatitis (n = 1), bile duct infection (n = 2), recurrent malignancy (n = 1), choledocholithiasis associated with a benign stricture (n = 1), Epstein-Barr virus-related lymphoproliferative disorder (n = 1), and a benign stricture of unknown etiology (n = 1). Biliary obstruction is a rare cause of jaundice in the post-transplant period. The presentation was similar to that of other post-transplant hepatobiliary problems, but with disparate causes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999


  • Benign stricture
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Duodenal hematoma
  • Infection
  • Malignancies
  • Marrow transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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