Chylous ascites after liver transplant: Case report and review of literature

Amar Nath Mukerji, Esther Tseng, Andreas Karachristos, Manoj Maloo, Ashokkumar Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Case: A 62-year-old man with cirrhosis, hepatitis C, and hepatocellular carcinoma, underwent a liver transplant. On day 11 after surgery, a chylous leak from a partial wound dehiscence was noted. The leak did not respond to 2 weeks of uninterrupted, fat-free clear liquid diet and 12-hour total parenteral nutrition at night. The same treatment was continued for another 6 weeks with fatty meal challenge every weekend, which he failed. He was then given a fat-free clear liquid diet, 24-hour total parenteral nutrition, and octreotide 100 μg subcutaneously every 8 hours for 14 days. A prompt response was noted. His recovery was excellent at the time of this writing (9 months' follow-up). Discussion: Eleven major cases have been reported with 9 cases being managed conservatively. Four were given a diet plus total parenteral nutrition without octreotide producing a cure in 3 to 36 days. Two cases (including ours) were given the diet and total parenteral nutrition, which failed; octreotide was then added, and these cases were cured in 2 to 4 weeks. Therefore, diet with total parenteral nutrition failed in 33.3% of the cases (2/6). In 3 cases, octreotide was used from the outset. They were all cured in ≤ 2 weeks. One case was operated on for peritonitis; chylous ascites was found and a leak was ligated. One patient with congenital lymphatic disorder underwent peritoneovenous shunting. Octreotide was not used in any of the cases of chylous ascites that were treated surgically. Conclusions: If exploratory surgery is done for any other reason, it is best to identify a chylous leak and ligate it. Otherwise, we recommend octreotide combined with a fat-free, clear liquid diet, and supplementation with medium chain triglycerides and total parenteral nutrition from the outset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Clinical Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Chylous ascites after liver transplant: Case report and review of literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this