Background/aim: The type of disease indicating liver transplantation is one of the most powerful predictors of postoperative survival. This may be an important problem in evaluating the prognostic significance of other factors when patients with liver diseases of very different nature are jointly studied. To minimize this bias, the present study aimed to investigate preoperative prognostic factors in liver transplantation only in patients with non-biliary cirrhosis.
Methods: Twenty-three preoperative standard clinical and laboratory variables were analyzed as possible prognostic factors in 162 patients receiving liver transplantation for non-biliary cirrhosis. Data for seven splanchnic and systemic hemodynamic variables were also analyzed in 55 patients.
Results: Using univariate analyses followed by a multivariate analysis, only preoperative blood urea nitrogen (BUN) reached statistical significance as an independent predictor of hospital survival; the survival rate at the end of hospitalization being 90% in patients with BUN< or =25 mg/dl and 65% in patients with BUN>25 mg/dl (p=0.0008). Similarly, preoperative BUN was the only variable independently predicting cumulative long-term survival, with an 87% survival probability at 1 year and 73% at 4 years in patients with BUN< or =25 mg/dl, and 61% and 49%, respectively, in patients with BUN>25 mg/dl (p=0.0014).
Conclusions: Renal function parameters are the most powerful preoperative predictors of survival after liver transplantation in patients with non-biliary cirrhosis. It is suggested that liver transplantation is indicated in these patients before marked renal dysfunction develops.