Total hepatectomy, recombinant activated factor VII and rescue liver transplantation

P. Cozzi, D. Chiumello, D. Tubiolo, A. Sicignano, G. Brandi, P. Bianchi, S. Coppola, M. L. Caspani, G. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper was to describe a case of acute liver failure treated with total hepatectomy, recombinant activated factor VII and rescue liver transplantation. We reported our experience with a 51-year-old-woman who developed a massive portal thrombosis after cadaveric liver transplantation for hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma and who then required a total hepatectomy and porto-caval shunt as a bridge procedure while waiting for an urgent new liver transplantation. Subsequently, the patient developed severe hemodynamic instability, massive abdominal and mucosal bleeding and acute renal failure that were managed with infusion of high doses of inotropes, red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma as well as continuous veno-venous hemofiltration. Due to persistent, uncontrolled bleeding, we considered the off-label use of rFVIIa. This caused a correction of the prothrombin times and allowed for sufficient hemostasis. The patient received a new cadaveric liver that was reperfused 38 hours after the first graft was removed. The transplanted liver showed immediate recovery, the hemodynamics ameliorated and the patient was fully awake at day five. In the case of an anhepatic phase complicated by severe bleeding that is unresponsiveness to several transfusions, a single administration of rFVIIa should be considered as a rescue therapy to control massive bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-553
Number of pages4
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Factor VII
  • Hepatectomy
  • Liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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