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Liver transplantation for post-COVID-19 sclerosing cholangitis


Since identified in December 2019, COVID-19 has remained a pandemic across the globe. Although primarily a respiratory illness, the impact of COVID-19 on other end organs has been increasingly identified. The effect of COVID-19 on the liver has yet to be completely understood. We describe a case of COVID-19 leading to end-stage cholangiopathy and deceased donor liver transplantation (LT). A 64-year-old man with no underlying respiratory or liver disease presented with acute respiratory distress secondary to COVID-19 pneumonia requiring intubation. Several months after resolution of his respiratory symptoms, he developed transaminitis, worsening jaundice, abdominal pain and dark-coloured urine. Hepatic function remained severely impaired warranting LT 259 days following his initial COVID-19 diagnosis. Explant pathology demonstrated diffuse hepatic injury, onion skinning of the bile ducts and bile duct loss in scattered portal tracts. As more patients develop COVID-19-related complications, we suggest LT as an option for COVID-19-related end-stage liver disease.

  • transplantation
  • COVID-19

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