Duct of luschka bile leak following deceased donor liver transplant

Jeffrey R. Ord, Madison K. Krischak, Jigesh A. Shah, Andrew S. Barbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Biliary leak is a relatively uncommon but potentially severe complication of liver transplantation. Duct of Luschka (also known as subvesical bile ducts) is a term that refers to a number of accessory biliary ducts. While leaks from Ducts of Luschka are well-described in the field of hepatobiliary surgery, only 2 case reports of such leaks exist in the setting of liver transplant. We report the first case of a Duct of Luschka biliary leak seen after DCD liver transplant in a 41-year-old woman with cirrhosis secondary to primary sclerosing cholangitis. The patient underwent surgical re-exploration in the immediate postoperative period due to bilious output from a surgical drain. A Duct of Luschka was found intraoperatively at the gallbladder fossa and was oversewn. Apart from immunosuppression-related neutrope-nia, the patient recovered uneventfully. Given the variability in preoperative detection of subvesical bile ducts, accessory bile duct leak remains an im-portant consideration in the liver transplant perioperative period. The prevalence of Ducts of Luschka and the relative risk of leakage from such subvesical bile ducts in liver transplants compared to cholecystectomies are unclear. Further research into anatomical accessory bile duct variants and preoperative techniques for detect-ing such ducts is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere933505
JournalAmerican Journal of Case Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Bile Ducts
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Liver Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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