Open Access Research article

Obesity is an independent risk factor for pre-transplant portal vein thrombosis in liver recipients

Rosa Ayala14*, Silvia Grande1, Rosalía Bustelos3, Carmen Ribera1, Alvaro García-Sesma2, Carlos Jimenez2, Enrique Moreno2 and Joaquín Martínez-López1

Author Affiliations

1 Hematology Department, 12 De Octubre University Hospital, Avenida Córdoba s/n, 28041, Madrid, Spain

2 General Surgery Alimentary Tract and Abdominal Organ Transplantation Department, 12 De Octubre University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

3 Hematology Department, Sureste Hospital (Arganda), Madrid, Spain

4 Complutense De Madrid University, Madrid, Spain

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:114  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-114

Published: 21 August 2012



Portal vein thrombosis is a frequent complication in end-stage cirrhosis with a considerable peri-operative risk for liver transplant candidates. We aimed to characterize the pre-transplant portal vein thrombosis in a cohort of liver transplant recipients, and to identify independent risk factors for this complication.


380 consecutive primary orthotopic liver transplants were performed in the Digestive Surgery Department of “12 de Octubre” Hospital (Madrid, Spain), between January 2001 and December 2006. The main risk factors considered were smoking, obesity, metabolic disorders, previous immobility, surgery or trauma, nephrotic syndrome, associated tumor, inflammatory disease, neoplasm myeloprolipherative. Furthermore we have reported genetic thrombophilia results for 271 recipients.


Sixty-two (16.3%) patients developed pre-transplant portal vein thrombosis and its presence had no impact in the overall survival of liver recipients. Obesity was the only independent risk factor for pre-transplant portal vein thrombosis.


We recommend close control of cardiovascular factors in patients with liver cirrhosis in order to avoid associated thrombosis.

Thrombophilia; Portal vein thrombosis; Liver transplant recipient