Neurological complications are important contributors to morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation. We reviewed 391 patients who underwent 427 consecutive orthotopic liver transplantations to analyze the clinical features of patients who experienced one or more neurological complication (74 patients [19%]) and to compare postoperative neurological problems in adults versus children. Neurological complications were more frequent in adults (64 of 273 patients [23%]) than children (10 of 118 patients [8%]) (P < 0.01). The most common neurological complication was encephalopathy (59%), which ranged widely in severity and occurred with similar frequency in adults and children. Other common neurological complications were seizures (12 patients), brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injuries (16 patients, 15 of whom were adults), stroke (5 patients), and central nervous system infections (5 patients). In 27 patients, drug toxicity was the primary cause of neurological complications, all of which reversed with dosage reduction or discontinuation of drug. Cyclosporine and FK506, primarily during intravenous administration for induction of immunosuppression, accounted for 25 of 27 drug-induced neurological complications, which included encephalopathy, seizures, severe tremor, and severe headache. Despite a higher rate of neurological complications in adults, those in children were more severe and associated with a higher mortality rate. When compared with liver transplant recipients without neurological complications, patients with neurological complications had a higher posttransplant mortality rate (14% vs. 5% for adults, and 50% vs. 7% for children). In conclusion, neurological complications after liver transplantation are more common in adults, more severe and associated with a higher mortality rate in children, and associated with a higher mortality rate in both children and adults when compared with transplant recipients without neurological complications.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PE12000010
View details for PubMedID 8073514