Adverse cardiac events after orthotopic liver transplantation: a cross-sectional study in 389 consecutive patients

Liver Transpl. 2015 Jan;21(1):13-21. doi: 10.1002/lt.23997.


Current American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines caution that preoperative noninvasive cardiac tests may have poor predictive value for detecting coronary artery disease in liver transplant candidates. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the role of clinical predictor variables for early and late cardiac morbidity and mortality and the predictive values of noninvasive cardiac tests for perioperative cardiac events in a high-risk liver transplant population. In all, 389 adult recipients were retrospectively analyzed for a median follow-up time of 3.4 years (range = 2.3-4.4 years). Overall survival was 83%. During the first year after transplantation, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality rates were 15.2% and 2.8%. In patients who survived the first year, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality rates were 3.9% and 2%, with cardiovascular etiology as the third leading cause of death. Dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) and single-photon emission computed tomography had respective sensitivities of 9% and 57%, specificities of 98% and 75%, positive predictive values of 33% and 28%, and negative predictive values of 89% and 91% for predicting early cardiac events. A rate blood pressure product less than 12,000 with DSE was associated with an increased risk for postoperative atrial fibrillation. Correspondence analysis identified a statistical association between nonalcoholic steatohepatitis/cryptogenic cirrhosis and postoperative myocardial ischemia. Logistic regression identified 3 risk factors for postoperative acute coronary syndrome: age, history of coronary artery disease, and pretransplant requirement for vasopressors. Multivariable analysis showed statistical associations of the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score and the development of acute kidney injury as risk factors for overall cardiac-related mortality. These findings may help in identifying high-risk patients and may lead to the development of better cardiac tests.

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • New Orleans / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome