Predictors of mortality and early detection strategies for hepatopulmonary syndrome in liver transplant patients
Introduction: Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a serious, progressive disease. Its pathophysiology resides in a hypoxic intrapulmonary shunt and severe clinical deterioration. Liver transplantation (LT) is the only effective treatment in appropriately selected patients.
Objective: To acknowledge the importance of early diagnosis of HPS.
Patients and methods: Observational, descriptive, retrospective trial including 8 patients with HPS that received LT between April 2006 and August 2014. The clinical data prior to transplantation and follow-up after the procedure were reviewed.
A multivariate analysis (stepwise forward logistic regression analysis) was used to identify the variable that could potentially increase the risk of death.
Results: Of the 8 patients, death could only be significantly predicted based on the pre-LT arterial blood partial oxygen pressure (PaO2) (p = 0.002).
The average pre-LT PaO2 of the patients that died was 51.5 ±2.49 SD, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.002).
None of the variables was statistically significant for HPS reversibility.
The survival rate of patients diagnosed with HPS following the LT was 62.5%.
ConcIusions: The level of pre-LT hypoxemia is an important predictor for immediate postoperative mortality. Early detection of the condition is critical to reduce the post LT morbidity and mortality so that the indication for transplant is made at the right time, regardless of the stage of liver disease. The most efficient clinical strategy could be the use of appropriate early detection protocols for HPS through screening of hypoxemia in patients with portal hypertension.
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