Pulmonary Hypertension and Liver Transplant

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Candidates for liver transplant or patients recently submitted to liver transplant are particularly at risk of suffering pulmonary hypertension for different reasons. The study “Severe pulmonary hypertension in liver transplant candidates” documents that advanced liver disease with portal hypertension is associated with pulmonary hypertension. Advanced liver disease or cirrhosis causes fibrosis and changes the actual architecture of the liver. Progression of the disease varies according to each patient, affecting other organs and tissues as well.

In addition, patients who were submitted to liver transplants are also at higher risk of suffering pulmonary hypertension. The two most common pulmonary vascular complications in patients with cirrhosis that can lead to pulmonary hypertension are hepatopulmonary syndrome and portopulmonary hypertension, as explained in the study “Pulmonary hypertension after liver transplantation: case presentation and review of the literature.” The research demonstrated that pulmonary hypertension is common in patients with severe liver disease either before or later after transplant.

The first study mentioned, which included 1,205 patients submitted to liver transplant, demonstrated that the incidence of pulmonary hypertension in the patients who received transplants was 8.5%, while mild pulmonary hypertension was 6.72%, moderate pulmonary hypertension was 1.16%, and that of severe pulmonary hypertension was 0.58%. The incidence of the disease has varying impact when it is developed before or after the transplant.

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