Clinical predictors of post–liver transplant new-onset heart failure


Address reprint requests to Waqas Qureshi, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2799 West Grand Boulevard, CFP 1, Detroit, MI 48202. Telephone: 313-916-2958; FAX: 313-916-1394;


Objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate preoperative predictors of systolic and diastolic heart failure in patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT) and (2) to describe the prognostic implications of systolic and diastolic heart failure in these patients. The onset of heart failure after orthotopic LT remains poorly understood. Data were obtained for all LT recipients between January 2000 and December 2010. The primary outcome was post-LT heart failure: systolic (ejection fraction ≤ 50%), diastolic, or mixed heart failure. Patients underwent echocardiographic evaluation before and after LT. Pretransplant variables were evaluated as predictors of heart failure with Cox proportional hazards model. 970 LT recipients were followed for 5.3 ± 3.4 years. Ninety-eight patients (10.1%) developed heart failure in the posttransplant period. There were 67 systolic (6.9%), 24 diastolic (2.5%), and 7 mixed systolic/diastolic (0.7%) heart failures. Etiology was ischemic in 18 (18.4%), tachycardia-induced in 8 (8.2%), valvular in 7 (7.1%), alcohol-related in 4 (4.1%), hypertensive heart disease in 3 (3.1%), and nonischemic in majority of patients (59.2%). Pretransplant grade 3 diastolic dysfunction, diabetes, hypertension, mean arterial pressure ≤ 65 mm Hg, mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥ 30 mm Hg, mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure ≥ 15 mm Hg, hemodialysis, brain natriuretic peptide level and QT interval > 450 ms were found to be predictive for the development of new-onset systolic heart failure. However beta-blocker use before LT and tacrolimus after LT were associated with reduced development of new-onset systolic heart failure. In conclusion, pretransplant risk factors, hemodynamic variables, and echocardiographic variables are important predictors of post-LT heart failure. In patients undergoing LT, postoperative onset of systolic or diastolic heart failure was found to be an independent predictor of mortality. Liver Transpl 19:701–710, 2013. © 2013 AASLD.