The observation that there are episodes of encephalopathy in liver cirrhosis patients after orthotopic liver transplantation, despite a well functioning graft and despite the lack of cerebral complications, prompted us to investigate the potential role of circulating benzodiazepine-like compounds in these episodes. The plasma levels of benzodiazepines were examined in 14 liver cirrhotic patients before and after transplantation. The benzodiazepines in the fluids infused during surgery and in individual bags of blood administered after surgery to 4 of these patients were also assayed. Herein we report that benzodiazepines accumulating in the blood of some transplanted patients appear to derive from blood transfusions utilized during surgery. The analysis of the types of benzodiazepines present in the blood utilized for transfusions suggests the use of commercial benzodiazepines by the donors. These compounds seem to be able to precipitate hepatic encephalopathy in patients with preexisting encephalopathy. Hence we suggest not using benzodiazepine consumers as blood donors, at least for patients with encephalopathy undergoing to liver transplantation.
Hepatic Encephalopathy in Liver Transplant Recipients Precipitated By Benzodiazepines Present in Transfused Blood / Zeneroli, Maria Luisa; I., Venturini; Avallone, Rossella; Farina, Franco; Corsi, Lorenzo; Baraldi, Claudia; G., Ardizzone; M., Centanaro; A., Arrigo; Baraldi, Mario. - In: TRANSPLANTATION. - ISSN 0041-1337. - STAMPA. - 62:(1996), pp. 764-767.