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Liver Transpl. 2010 Nov;16(11):1242-8. doi: 10.1002/lt.22152.

Multivessel coronary artery disease predicts mortality, length of stay, and pressor requirements after liver transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The optimal preoperative cardiac evaluation strategy for patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) undergoing liver transplantation remains unknown. Patients are frequently referred for cardiac catheterization, but the effects of coronary artery disease (CAD) on posttransplant mortality are also unknown. We sought to determine the contribution of CAD and multivessel CAD in particular to posttransplant mortality. We performed a retrospective study of ESLD patients undergoing cardiac catheterization before liver transplant surgery between August 1, 2004 and August 1, 2007 to determine the effects of CAD on outcomes after transplantation. Among 83 patients who underwent left heart catheterization, 47 underwent liver transplantation during the follow-up period. Twenty-one of all ESLD patients who underwent liver transplantation (45%) had CAD. Fifteen of the transplant patients with CAD (71%) had multivessel disease. Among transplant patients, the presence of multivessel CAD (versus no CAD) was predictive of mortality (27% versus 4%, P = 0.046), increased length of stay (22 versus 15 days, P = 0.050), and postoperative pressor requirements (27% versus 4%, P = 0.029). Interestingly, neither the presence of any CAD nor the severity of stenosis in any single coronary artery predicted mortality. Furthermore, none of the traditional clinical predictors (age, gender, diabetes, creatinine, ejection fraction, and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score) were predictive of mortality among transplant recipients. In conclusion, multivessel CAD is associated with higher mortality after liver transplantation when it is documented angiographically before transplantation, even in the absence of severe coronary artery stenosis. This study provides preliminary evidence showing that there may be significant prognostic value in coronary angiography as a part of the pretransplant workup.

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