Left Ventricular Dysfunction: A Hidden Risk in Patients Undergoing Liver Transplantation

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AbstractWith improved survival after liver transplantation (LT), the referral of older candidates has increased. The increasing demand for, and the decreased supply of, liver donors makes careful preoperative cardiac risk assessment imperative. There is a paucity of information regarding the cardiac characteristics of patients being referred for LT in the current era. This study aimed to describe the cardiac hemodynamic and coronary angiographic characteristics of a cohort of patients with end-stage liver disease without known coronary artery disease (CAD) being evaluated for LT. One hundred sixty-one consecutive patients aged ≥45 years with end-stage liver disease who were referred for right- and left-sided cardiac catheterization as part of a liver transplant evaluation were identified. There was a high prevalence of atherosclerotic risk factors; half had hypertension or diabetes, and more than half had ≥2 coronary risk factors other than age. There was a high prevalence of CAD, with 26% having unknown moderate to severe coronary narrowing. Patients with moderate to severe CAD were older, were more likely to be men, and were more likely to have hypertension or diabetes mellitus. Right- and left-sided filling pressures were elevated, suggesting abnormalities in left ventricular diastolic compliance. In conclusion, this study showed a high prevalence of coronary risk factors and unknown moderate to severe CAD in patients with end-stage liver disease being referred for LT.

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