Posttransplant metabolic syndrome: An epidemic waiting to happen

Authors

  • Mangesh Pagadala,

    1. Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
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  • Srinivasan Dasarathy,

    1. Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
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  • Bijan Eghtesad,

    1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
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  • Arthur J. McCullough

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
    • Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Mail Code A30, Cleveland, OH 44195
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    • Telephone: 216-444-2766; FAX: 216-445-3889


Abstract

With increasing survival after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), metabolic syndrome and its individual components, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity, are increasingly being identified and contributing to cardiovascular complications and late morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of posttransplant metabolic syndrome (PTMS) and its individual components has been found to be higher post-OLT versus a comparable population without OLT. The development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) after liver transplantation for non-NAFLD cirrhosis is also being increasingly recognized. A number of predictors have been identified as potential risk factors related to these complications. The pretransplant risk factors include immunosuppression, a higher age at transplant, male gender, a history of smoking, the pretransplant body mass index, pre-OLT diabetes, the etiology of the underlying liver disease that resulted in OLT (hepatitis C, cryptogenic cirrhosis, or alcohol), an increased donor body mass index, and marital status. Although there is an increased risk of cardiovascular events, rejection, and infection among patients with PTMS, the overall impact on long-term survival and mortality remains inconclusive. Strategies to reduce the development of metabolic syndrome after transplantation should include lifestyle modifications involving alterations in diet and increased physical activity. Additional measures that may be potentially beneficial include the use of lipid-lowering agents, the optimal control of blood glucose, and the use of tacrolimus instead of cyclosporine. Liver Transpl 15:1662–1670, 2009. © 2009 AASLD.

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