Impact of pulmonary hypertension on patient outcome following liver transplantation

P Starkel, Alonso Vera, B Gunson, David Mutimer

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70 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally believed that pulmonary hypertension (PHT) adversely affects outcome after liver transplantation (U). Most transplant units consider severe PHT to be an absolute contraindication to LT. We examined the outcome of 145 patients who underwent LT between 1997 and 1999. pulmonary artery pressures (PAPs) had been measured before surgery. Pre-LT workup included electrocardiography and echocardiography for the majority of patients. Also, the liver unit database was screened for patients with known PHT who had undergone LT before 1997. Based on pulmonary floatation catheter measurements made after the induction of anesthesia for LT, PHT was defined as mild or moderate to severe if the mean PAP (MPAP) exceeded 25 and 35 mm Hg, respectively. The incidence of PHT was 26% (38 of 145 patients); 31 of 38 patients had mild PHT. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis did not show a significant survival benefit for patients with normal PAN compared with patients with PHT (all, mild, moderate to severe). For surviving patients, the duration of ventilation and intensive care unit stay was unaffected by PHT. Four of 5 patients (identified from the database 1982 to 1999) with MPAPs greater than 40 mm Hg survived LT by more than 1 year. PHT of this severity was usually associated with specific and suggestive abnormality of the echocardiogram. Mild PHT is common and does not affect patient outcome after LT. Moderate and severe PHT are uncommon. Our analysis suggests that when the cardiac index is preserved, the majority of patients with moderate and severe PHT can survive LT, and they will not the of PHT during long-term follow-up. Echo cardiography detects most severe PHT, but not mild and moderate PHT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-388
Number of pages7
JournalLiver Transplantation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


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