Reducing the Risks of Cardiovascular Disease in Liver Allograft Recipients


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Liver allograft recipients are at increased risk of death from cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease. We propose the following strategy of risk-reduction, based on currently available literature. Lifestyle: standard advice should be given (avoidance of smoking, excess alcohol and obesity, adequate exercise, reduction of excess sodium intake). Hypertension: target blood pressure should be 140/90 mmHg or lower, but for those with diabetes or renal disease, 130/80 mmHg or lower. For patients without proteinuria, antihypertensive therapy should be initiated with a calcium channel blocker and for those with proteinuria, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker. If monotherapy fails to achieve adequate response, calcium channel blockers and ACE-inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers should be combined. If hypertension remains uncontrolled, an alpha-blocker may be added. Consideration should be given to changing immunosuppression and avoiding use of calcineurin inhibitors. Diabetes: recipients should be regularly screened for diabetes. For patients with new-onset diabetes after transplant, stepwise therapy should be guided by HbA1c concentrations, as with type II diabetes mellitus. Hyperlipidemia: annual screening of lipid profile should be undertaken, with treatment thresholds and targets based on those advocated for the high risk general population. Dietary intervention is appropriate for all patients. A statin should be considered as the first line treatment to achieve specified targets. In patients receiving a calcineurin inhibitor, Pravastatin should be commenced at a dose of 10 mg/day. In patients receiving other forms of immunosuppression, pravastatin may be commenced at a dose of 20 mg/day. Liver tests should be monitored and patients warned to report myalgia. If monotherapy is inadequate, ezetimibe or a fibrate may be added. Consideration may be given to change in immunosuppression if combination lipid-lowering therapy proves inadequate.

    loading  Loading Related Articles