Is intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunting and hypoxemia a contraindication for liver transplantation?



A 12-year-old boy with Wilson's disease developed exertional dyspnea, cyanosis, and finger clubbing 10 months after diagnosis. The hypoxemia was caused by arteriovenous shunting, demonstrated by radionuclide scanning and pulmonary arteriography. Orthotopic liver transplantation was performed after the development of severe hypoxemia. There was no apparent reversal of the intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunting and he died 10 days posttransplantation of multiple organ failure secondary to hypoxemia. Monitoring arterial oxygen saturation in children with cirrhosis is warranted since the presence of significant arteriovenous shunting may influence prognosis and decisions regarding liver transplantation.