The impact of treatment of portopulmonary hypertension on survival following liver transplantation

M. Ashfaq, S. Chinnakotla, L. Rogers, K. Ausloos, S. Saadeh, G. B. Klintmalm, M. Ramsay, G. L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pulmonary hypertension in the setting of cirrhosis and portal hypertension is known as portopulmonary hypertension (PPHTN). Moderate or severe PPHTN is uncommon, but has a poor prognosis and is considered to be a contraindication to liver transplantation. We assessed the impact of vasodilation therapy on pulmonary hemodynamics and outcome after liver transplant in these patients. Eighty-six patients evaluated for liver transplant between 1997 and 2005 had an estimated right ventricular systolic pressure >40 mm Hg or a clinical suspicion of PPHTN. Right heart catheterization confirmed PPHTN in 30 patients (ten mild, eight moderate, and 12 severe). Sixteen of the 20 with moderate-to-severe pulmonary hypertension (mPAP ≥ 35) were otherwise considered suitable liver transplant candidates and were treated with vasodilation therapy. mPAP fell to less than 35 mm Hg in 12 patients (75%) and 11 of them then underwent orthotopic liver transplantation. One- and five-year survivals in the transplanted patients were 91% and 67%, respectively. Nine of 11 were off vasodilator therapy after a median of 9.2 months following transplantation. None of the patients who failed vasodilator therapy survived (median survival, 8 months). Effective pharmacologic control of PPHTN before liver transplant is associated with excellent posttransplant survival that is similar to patients transplanted for other indications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1258-1264
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

Keywords

  • Liver transplantation
  • Pulmonary hypertension

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