Pre-Operative Cardiovascular Testing before Liver Transplantation.

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End-stage liver disease (ESLD) is increasingly prevalent and shares many risk factors with coronary artery disease (CAD). No specific guidelines exist for pre-liver transplant evaluation of CAD, and pretransplant cardiovascular testing varies widely. The aim of this study is to characterize pre-transplant cardiac testing practices with post-transplant clinical outcomes. We retrospectively reviewed patients undergoing initial liver transplantation at our transplant center between January 2015 and March 2019. Patients with previous liver transplantation or multi-organ transplantation were excluded. Electronic medical records were reviewed for relevant demographic and clinical data. We included 285 patients with a mean follow-up of 2.4 years. Of 274 patients (96.1%) with pre-transplant transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), 18 (6.6%) were abnormal. Non-invasive ischemic testing was performed in 193 (68%) patients: 165 (58%) underwent stress TTE, 24 (8%) underwent myocardial perfusion imaging, 3 underwent coronary computed tomography, and 1 underwent exercise electrocardiogram. Sixteen patients (6%) had left heart catheterization of which 10 (63%) were abnormal and 5 proceeded to revascularization before transplant. There were 4 (1.4%) deaths within 30 days of transplant and 23 deaths (8.1%) in total. ST-elevation myocardial infarction was seen in 1 patient within 30 days and 1 patient after 30 days (0.7% total). No cardiovascular deaths were observed. Among patients undergoing liver transplantation, pre-transplantation cardiovascular testing is exceedingly common and post-transplant cardiovascular complications are rare. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal testing and surveillance in this patient population.

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Authors: Brian C Case, Michael Yang, Syed Z Qamer, Sant Kumar, Charan Yerasi, Brian J Forrestal, Chava Chezar-Azerrad, Giorgio A Medranda, Nelson L Bernardo, Toby Rogers, Lowell F Satler, Hayder Hashim, Rohit S Satoskar, Alexander T Lalos, Ron Waksman, Itsik Ben-Dor