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Riess, H.; Jochum, Marianne; Machleidt, W.; Himmelreich, G.; Blumhardt, G.; Roissaint, R.; Neuhaus, P. (September 1991): Possible role of extracellularly released phagocytic proteinases in the coagulation disorder during liver transplantation. In: Tranplantation, Vol. 52, No. 3: pp. 482-490


Orthotopic liver transplantation is frequently associated with a complex coagulation disorder, influencing the outcome of the procedure. In this respect, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) had been suggested to be of causative importance for bleeding complications after reperfusion of the liver graft. In 10 consecutive patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantations, we studied the occurrence of two phagocyte proteinases of different origin in the graft liver perfus-ate and in systemic blood during the operation, as well as their effects on hemostasis. As compared with plasma samples taken at the end of the anhepatic phase, highly significant increases of cathepsin B and thrombin-anti-thrombin III complexes (TAT), as well as highly significant decreases in antithrombin III, protein C, and C1-inhibitor were observed in graft liver perfusate. Von Willebrand factor and fibrinogen were slightly decreased, whereas the elastase-alpha1 proteinase inhibitor complexes (EPI) were elevated. In plasma the activity of cathepsin B remained unchanged during the prereperfusion phases, but immediately after revascularization of the graft this cysteine proteinase increased. The EPI showed a gradual increase in plasma during the preanhepatic and anhepatic phases but a more pronounced increase in the reperfusion phase. In parallel with the rise in these two proteinases TAT increased and the activities of antithrombin III and C1-inhibitor in plasma decreased after reperfusion. At 12 hr after revascularization plasma levels of TAT, antithrombin III, and C1-inhibitor had returned to the prereperfusion ranges, whereas cathepsin B and EPI were significantly above the baseline levels. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that extracellularly released lysosomal proteinases may play a role in the development of a DIC-like constellation, including thrombin formation after revascularization of the liver graft. For the first time we could prove the occurrence of phagocyte proteinases in graft liver perfusate and evaluate the importance of these proteinases for the understanding of the pathophysiology leading to bleeding complications in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation.