Incidence and Risk Factors of Intracranial Hemorrhage in Liver Transplant Recipients

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Abstract

Background

Intracranial hemorrhage after liver transplantation is an infrequently reported complication but one which can have devastating consequences.

Methods

We performed a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of all liver transplants performed between January 2010 and June 2015 at a single high-volume institution using a prospectively maintained electronic database and query of the electronic medical record. Cases of intracranial hemorrhage were adjudicated as either spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhage(IPH) or extra-axial hemorrhage (EAH). Patients with confirmed intracranial hemorrhage were compared with all other liver transplant recipients. Risk factors were identified by univariate analysis and logistic regression models for IPH and EAH.

Results

Thirty-one (5.2%) of 595 liver transplant recipients developed an intracranial hemorrhage within 12 months of transplantation, 15 IPH and 16 EAH. The majority of intracranial hemorrhages were diagnosed within 1 month of transplantation. Eight (26%) intracranial hemorrhage patients died during hospitalization. Fourteen (45%) intracranial hemorrhage patients died within 1 year of transplantation and 1-year mortality was greater than in patients without intracranial hemorrhage (11.2%, P < 0.01). Female sex (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.291; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.092-9.924; P = 0.034), higher pretransplant bilirubin (adjusted OR, 1.037; 95% CI, 1.006-1.070; P = 0.020), and greater increase in pretransplant to posttransplant systolic blood pressure (adjusted OR, 1.029; 95% CI, 1.006-1.052; P = 0.012) were associated with posttransplant IPH. Lower pretransplant serum fibrinogen level (adjusted OR, 0.988; 95% CI, 0.979-0.998; P = 0.017) was associated with posttransplant EAH.

Conclusions

Postoperative blood pressure control and pretransplant fibrinogen levels may be modifiable risk factors for preventing posttransplant intracranial hemorrhage.

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