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Transplantation. 1997 Mar 15;63(5):675-9.

Impact of autonomic neuropathy on circulatory instability during liver transplantation for familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy.

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Department of Medicine, UmeƄ University Hospital, Sweden.



Circulatory instability with severe hypotension frequently complicates liver transplantation in patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. Autonomic dysfunction is found early in the course of the disease by analysis of beat-to-beat heart rate variability (HRV). The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of autonomic neuropathy on intraoperative circulatory instability during liver transplantation for familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy.


Twenty-two patients were evaluated at the Department of Medicine, Umea University Hospital, by spectral analysis of HRV and later received liver transplants at Huddinge University Hospital. The low-and high-frequency bands obtained by spectral analysis of HRV in the supine and upright positions, respectively, were used as representative of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. Circulatory instability during transplantation was defined as a fall in systolic arterial blood pressure below 70 mmHg for more than 5 min during the preanhepatic phase.


Both arrhythmia preventing spectral analysis of HRV and a sympathetic variability peak below 2.5 mHz2 were significantly more common among patients with intraoperative circulatory instability (P=0.03 and 0. 004, respectively). A diminished increase in pulse rate when tilting the patients from the supine to the upright position was also more pronounced among patients with circulatory instability (P<0.05).


The majority of patients who will develop circulatory instability with a pronounced fall in arterial blood pressure can be identified by Poincare plots of R-R intervals and spectral analysis of HRV. A low sympathetic peak or arrhythmia precluding spectral analysis of HRV is significantly related to operative circulatory instability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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