Although interferon (IFN) based therapy for recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation has been widely accepted, it induces various adverse effects such as thrombocytopenia, resulting in its interruption. Recently, concomitant splenectomy at the time of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has been tried to overcome this problem but this procedure leads to several complications such as excessive intraoperative bleeding and serious infection. A 60-year-old female received LDLT using a left lobe graft from her second son for liver failure caused by hepatitis C-related cirrhosis. Six months after LDLT, she was diagnosed as recurrent HCV infection by liver biopsy. IFN monotherapy was started from 7 mo after LDLT and her platelet count decreased to less than 50 000/μL, which thus made it necessary to discontinue the treatment. We decided to attempt laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) under general anesthesia. Since intra-abdominal findings did not show any adhesion formations around the spleen, LS could be successfully performed. After LS, since her platelet count immediately increased to 225 000/μL 14 d after operation, IFN therapy was restarted and we could convert the combination therapy of IFN and ribavirin, resulting in no detectable viral marker. In conclusion, LS can be performed safely even after LDLT, and LS after LDLT is a feasible and less invasive modality for thrombocytopenia caused by antiviral therapy.
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