Cardiac abnormalities in cirrhotic children: pre- and post-liver transplantation

Khemika Khemakanok, Anant Khositseth, Suporn Treepongkaruna, Sumate Teeraratkul, Wichai Pansrimangkorn, Surasak Leelaudomlipi, Uthen Bunmee, Suthus Sriphojanart
Hepatology International 2016, 10 (3): 518-24

BACKGROUND/AIM: Liver cirrhosis is associated with several cardiac abnormalities. There have been few studies of these abnormalities in cirrhotic children post-liver transplantation (LT). The purpose of this study was to evaluate cardiac abnormalities in cirrhotic children pre- and post-LT.

METHODS: All cirrhotic children <15 years of age on a waiting list for LT underwent pre-LT echocardiography to evaluate left ventricular (LV) dimension, mass, and function. Repeated studies were performed at 1-2 and 3-6 months post-LT.

RESULTS: A total of 20 cirrhotic children (median age 21.5 months [8-108 months], 11 female [55 %]) were enrolled in the study. Most patients had biliary atresia (75 %) and decompensated cirrhosis, with a median pediatric end-stage liver disease score of 19.5 (14-28). Two patients subsequently died, at 1 and 4 months post-LT. Echocardiography was re-evaluated in 17 and 18 patients at 1-2 months and 3-6 months post-LT, respectively. Prior to transplant, most patients had cardiac abnormalities, including LV enlargement (50 %), increased LV mass (95 %), abnormal LV geometry (95 %), hyperdynamic LV systolic function (60 %), LV diastolic dysfunction (60 %), and high cardiac index (75 %). At 3-6 months post-LT, no significant decrease in cardiac abnormalities was noted; however, cardiac parameters including LV dimension in diastole index and z-score, LV mass index, and relative wall thickness were significantly decreased.

CONCLUSIONS: Most cirrhotic children had cardiac abnormalities, including LV enlargement, increased LV mass, abnormal LV geometry, and LV dysfunction. These abnormalities tended to improve post-LT. We suggest that echocardiography should be performed in all cirrhotic children.

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