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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Pre-Liver Transplant Transthoracic Echocardiogram Findings and 6-Month Post-Transplant Outcomes: A Case-Control Analysis

Monica A. Konerman, Jennifer C. Price, Catherine Y. Campbell, Swathi Eluri, Ahmet Gurakar, James Hamilton, Zhiping Li

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Johns Hopkins Hospital/University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Ann Transplant 2016; 21:416-427

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.897425

Available online: 2016-07-05

Published: 2016-07-05


BACKGROUND: Cardiopulmonary (CP) outcomes remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality following liver transplantation (LT). The optimal CP risk stratification of LT candidates remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of pre-LT transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) findings and 6-month post-LT outcomes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective review analyzed adults who underwent LT, comparing those who died within 6 months of LT (cases; n=38) with age- and sex-matched patients who survived >6 months (controls; n=38). Cases were categorized by cause of death (COD) defined as either a primary CP process (n=20) or a non-CP process (n=18). Data were analyzed using logistic regression and survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier curves.
RESULTS: There was a higher odds of death within 6 months of LT with ≥ mild mitral regurgitation (OR 3.44, p=0.03) or an incomplete assessment of right ventricular systolic function (RVSF) (OR 24, p=0.004). On subgroup analysis, these findings only persisted in patients with a CP COD. Patients with CP COD were older (61 vs. 54.5, p=0.04), had longer intervals between TTE and LT (122 vs. 29 days, p=0.05), less complete assessments of RVSF (p=0.009), and lower RV fractional area change (p=0.04) compared to patients with non-CP COD.
CONCLUSIONS: Multiple TTE parameters were associated with patients who died within 6 months of LT, and in particular patients with a CP COD. Our findings suggest that pre-LT TTEs can convey useful CP risk stratification information and emphasizes the importance of adequately assessing these parameters prior to LT.

Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases, Echocardiography, Liver Transplantation, Risk Assessment