Hemodynamic evaluation before liver transplantation: Insights into the portal hypertensive syndrome

Andres T. Blei*, Sameer Mazhar, Charles J. Davidson, Steven L. Flamm, Michael Abecassis, Mihai Gheorghiade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The cardiac hemodynamics of patients awaiting liver transplantation is complex. Coronary atherosclerosis, a hyperdynamic circulatory state and cirrhotic cardiomyopathy are present to a variable degree in this population. In this contribution to the Symposium on Portal Hypertension, we expand on our published experience with coronary angiography and cardiac hemodynamics at the time of evaluation of candidacy for liver transplantation in a cohort of 161 patients. Although we confirmed the relation of systemic hemodynamics with the degree of liver failure, we noted a higher prevalence of high output heart failure, defined as an increased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure in the setting of an elevated cardiac output, most notably in patients classified as Child C. Most patients with high pulmonary artery pressure also exhibited evidence of elevated left ventricle filling pressures. A low systemic vascular resistance, a marker of arterial vasodilatation, was similar in the presence of atherosclerosis, a condition where impaired vasorelaxation occurs as a result of endothelial dysfunction. The high prevalence of coronary artery disease in this series supports the observations that atherosclerosis is a major issue in the current population with cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation. A lower sensitivity of noninvasive screening tools for the detection of coronary atherosclerosis is likely the result of the interaction of the hyperdynamic circulation with the performance of these tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S323-S329
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Cardiac failuref
  • Coronary atherosclerosis
  • Liver transplantation
  • Portal hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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