Tobacco Use is a Modifiable Risk Factor for Post-Transplant Biliary Complications

David T. Dulaney, Katherine M. Dokus, Scott McIntosh, Bandar Al-Judaibi, Gopal A. Ramaraju, Koji Tomiyama, Mark Levstik, Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, Mark S. Orloff, Randeep Kashyap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Biliary complications following liver transplantation are a significant source of morbidity, potentially leading to graft failure necessitating retransplantation. We sought to evaluate smoking as an independent risk factor for post-transplant biliary complications. Methods: The clinical course of all adult primary deceased donor liver transplants at our center from 1992 to 2012 was reviewed. Eligible patients were assigned to cohorts based on their lifetime tobacco exposure: never smokers indicating 0 pack-year exposure and all others were ever smokers. Biliary complications were defined as strictures, leaks, or bilomas requiring intervention. Complication rates were analyzed using univariate regression models correlated with donor and recipient characteristics. Associations found during univariate analysis were included in the final multivariate Cox model. Results: Eight hundred sixty-five subjects were followed for a median of 65 months; 482 (55.7%) of patients had a positive smoking history at the time of transplant. In univariate analysis, positive tobacco smoking history (HR = 1.36; p = 0.037) and increased time from quit date to transplantation (HR = 0.998; p = 0.011) were positive and negative predictors of biliary complication, respectively. Lifetime tobacco exposure remained a significant predictor of biliary complication on multivariate analysis (HR = 1.408; p = 0.023). Conclusions: Smoking status is an independent predictor of post-transplant biliary complications, and the data presented reinforces the importance of early smoking cessation in the pre-transplantation period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1649
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilary leaks
  • Biliary complications
  • Biloma
  • Liver transplantation
  • Smoking
  • Stricture
  • Tobacco


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