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Clin Transplant. 1997 Feb;11(1):60-5.

Cardiovascular risk factors in long-term follow-up after orthotopic liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Virchow Clinic, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.


In a retrospective study the records of 302 adult patients (167 male, 135 female) after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) with a minimum follow-up of 6 months (median follow-up 18 months, maximum 5 yr) were reviewed with regard to cardiovascular risk factors. In 197 patients data concerning the occurrence of arterial hypertension, hyperglycemia, or hypercholesterolemia prior to OLT were available. We found a highly significant increase of cardiovascular risk factors following OLT. Obesity was found in 17.4% of male and 22.2% of female recipients after OLT. Hypercholesterolemia was evident in 66.2% of liver graft recipients. Hypertriglyceridemia occurred in 49.7% of all male patients. In females there was a significantly different prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia comparing patients with a follow-up period up to 2 yr and more than 2 yr (50% vs. 24.6%, p = 0.018). Nearly 45% of all patients met the criteria for arterial hypertension, with a slight increase in male patients beyond the second year of survival (p = 0.094). Hyperglycemia had a significantly higher frequency in male than in female patients (30.5% vs. 10.4%, p < 0.005). Furthermore we observed a clear trend towards reduction of occurrence of hyperglycemia more than 24 months after OLT, but not reaching statistical significance. No correlation was detected when serum levels of triglycerides, and cholesterol, body-mass-index, and arterial blood pressure were compared with applied dosages of immunosuppressive agents [cyclosporin A (CyA), tacrolimus, and prednisolone]. Only decreasing tacrolimus application was significantly correlated with decreasing glucosemia (p = 0.041). Patients receiving tacrolimus instead of CyA as primary immunosuppressant showed a significantly lower prevalence of hypercholesterolemia. Even hypertension, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and obesity had a lower occurrence in patients treated with tacrolimus although not reaching statistical significance.

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