Cardiovascular predictors of death in patients with cirrhosis

Maurizio Cesari, Anna Chiara Frigo, Marta Tonon, Paolo Angeli
Hepatology: Official Journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2018, 68 (1): 215-223

Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy is associated with poor outcomes in patients with cirrhosis. We investigated if subclinical cardiac morphologic and functional modifications can influence survival in patients with cirrhosis during follow-up. A series of patients with cirrhosis without cardiovascular or pulmonary disease underwent standard and tissue Doppler echocardiography to assess left ventricular geometry, systolic/diastolic function, and the main haemodynamic parameters. After baseline evaluation 115 patients with cirrhosis were followed up for at least 6 years. During follow-up 54 patients died (47%). On univariate analysis, age, body surface area (BSA), Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD), mean arterial pressure, heart rate, cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance index, and the ratio of transmitral Doppler early filling velocity to tissue Doppler early diastolic mitral annular velocity (E/è) were associated with increased risk of death. In a Cox hazard regression analysis including these factors and other hypothesized important factors (but not MELD), increased age (P = 0.04) and left atrial dimension (P = 0.005) and lower BSA (P = 0.03) were the strongest predictors of death. When MELD was included in the analysis, the main predictors were MELD, age, and BSA. When multivariate analysis was performed incorporating only cardiovascular parameters, increased E/è (P = 0.003) and heart rate (P = 0.03) and reduced mean blood pressure (P = 0.01) were significantly associated with poor prognosis.

CONCLUSION: In a large cohort of patients with cirrhosis and after a long follow-up, MELD, age, and BSA were the main predictors of death; among cardiovascular parameters, left atrium enlargement, increased heart rate and E/è, and reduced mean blood pressure were independent predictors of death. (Hepatology 2018).

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