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Transplant Proc. 2010 Jun;42(5):1769-73. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.02.075.

Factors associated with persistent thrombocytopenia after liver transplantation.

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1
Division of Liver Diseases, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Thrombocytopenia typically resolves with resolution of portal hypertension after liver transplantation (LT) but persists in some patients. Identifying risk factors associated with persistent post- LT thrombocytopenia may provide important information about its pathogenesis.

METHODS:

Cirrhotic adults with platelet levels of <150,000 mu/L at the time of LT and followed at least 1 year were studied. A retrospective analysis of lab values, radiologic spleen index (SI), and donor data using nonparametric methods was performed to characterize patients having persistent thrombocytopenia, defined as persistently low platelet levels at 3 and 12 months after LT.

RESULTS:

One hundred patients were studied: mean age 55 y (range 23-75 y); platelet count at LT 62,000/microL (range 14,000- 148,000/microL; mean total bilirubin 2.6 mg/dL; mean Mayo end-stage liver disease score 29; SI 1,476 (range 347-4,843 mL; normal 120-480 mL). Platelet count at 3 and 12 months after LT correlated with SI (r = -0.41 and -0.54; P < .001). Fifty-seven patients had persistent thrombocytopenia. Compared with patients whose platelet levels normalized by month 3 or 12, they had higher SI and lower platelet count before LT (P < .001). The SI and platelet levels at the time of LT were independent predictive factors for platelet levels at 3 and 12 months after LT (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

High SI and low platelet count at the time of LT are associated with persistent thrombocytopenia after LT. They are also independent predictive factors of platelet levels at 3 and 12 months after LT. This suggests that patients may have persistent thrombocytopenia after LT owing to persistence of some degree of hypersplenism and incomplete resolution of splenomegaly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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