Elevated non-invasive liver fibrosis markers and risk of liver carcinoma in adult patients after repair of tetralogy of Fallot

Kenichiro Yamamura, Ichiro Sakamoto, Eiji Morihana, Yuichiro Hirata, Hazumu Nagata, Yuzo Yamasaki, Yukihiko Okumura, Kenichi Kohashi, Kazuhiro Koto, Hiroyuki Tsutsui, Shouichi Ohga
International Journal of Cardiology 2019 April 11

BACKGROUND: Congestive hepatopathy and hepatocellular carcinoma is a serious complication after Fontan procedure. Liver fibrosis due to hepatic congestion could occur also in adult patients after repair of tetralogy of Fallot (rTOF). However, the incidence and severity remain unclear.

METHODS: A total of 111 patients with adult congenital heart disease between 2009 and 2016 were enrolled. Liver fibrosis markers and hemodynamic parameters assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and catheterization were analyzed in 50 rTOF patients having significant pulmonary regurgitation and/or stenosis, 50 Fontan patients and 11 controls.

RESULTS: Liver fibrosis markers in patients with rTOF were significantly higher than controls, and tended to be lower than Fontan patients (median, hyaluronic acid: 25.8 vs. 15.9 vs. 40.8, type IV collagen: 129 vs. 113 vs. 166, ng/mL, p < 0.05, respectively). Patients with rTOF showed abnormal hyaluronic acid levels more frequently than controls, and less frequently than Fontan patients (22% vs. 0% vs. 38%, respectively, p < 0.05). Multivariate analyses indicated a positive association of right atrial pressure with type IV-collagen or hyaluronic acid levels (each, p < 0.001, p = 0.003). Abdominal ultrasonography revealed hepatic congestion in 50% of rTOF patients tested. Liver biopsy of the two rTOF patients with highest hyaluronic acid levels showed pathological evidence of moderate and severe (F2 and F3) liver fibrosis and one had combined hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma.

CONCLUSIONS: We first demonstrated elevated liver fibrosis markers in adult patients with rTOF. These levels may help to predict the progressive liver disease as well as consider the timing of pulmonary valve replacement.

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