The aim of this study is to assess the impact of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) on outcomes after liver transplantation.
Patients considered for liver transplantation are at an increased risk for CAD. Obstructive CAD is a contraindication for liver transplantation at most centres. However, the association between severity of CAD and liver transplantation outcomes remains poorly characterized.
We retrospectively reviewed 386 consecutive liver transplantations performed between January 2001 and December 2005 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH). A comparative analysis was conducted for a national cohort (n = 23 820) from the United Network for Organ Sharing database. Outcome measures included patient and graft survival, rates of acute myocardial infarction and heart failure.
Patient survival remained similar irrespective of CAD severity or cardiovascular risk index (CRI) in the NMH cohort. The CRI closely correlated with the presence of CAD in the NMH cohort [CRI 0, odds ratio (OR) 0.125, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.02-0.61, P = 0.01; CRI 1, OR 1 reference; CRI ≥2, OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.09-4.75, P = 0.02]. In the national cohort using Cox regression, high (≥2) CRI (reference 0, hazard ratio 1.376, 95% CI 1.271-1.488, P < 0.0001) predicted patient mortality and exceeded established risk factors, including Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (hazard ratio 1.321, 95% CI 1.242-1.403, P < 0.0001), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (hazard ratio 1.27, 95% CI 1.181-1.370, P < 0.0001) and diabetes (hazard ratio 1.241, 95% CI 1.160-1.326, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION
Liver transplantation in patients with CAD is not associated with prohibitive risk for cardiac events and patient mortality. Appropriately treated CAD should therefore not represent a contraindication to liver transplantation.