Background. Portopulmonary hypertension (PPHT) has a prevalence of 5-10% in liver transplantation (LiTx) candidates. Mild PPHT is reversible with LiTx, but more severe PPHT is a contraindication to LiTx given the high intraoperative mortality due to heart failure. Prostacyclin can reduce PPHT to a level at which LiTx can be performed. In patients refractory to that treatment, combined (heart-)lung-LiTx is the only life-saving option. Methods. We report two cases of (heart-)lung-LiTx in patients with refractory severe PPHT. Results. Patient 1, a 52-year-old female with viral cirrhosis and severe refractory PPHT, received a double-lung Tx followed by LiTx. After liver reperfusion, fatal heart failure occurred. Patient 2, a 42-year-old male with viral hepatitis and congenital liver fibrosis, also suffered from severe refractory PPHT. He successfully received an en bloc heart-lung Tx followed by LiTx. The rationale to replace the heart was an anticipated risk of intraoperative right heart failure after liver reperfusion and the technical ease of heart-lung versus double-lung Tx. Conclusion. Severe refractory PPHT is a fatal condition seen as a contraindication to LiTx. This condition can be treated by replacing thoracal organs in addition to the liver. Additional evidence via development of a registry is required to further support application of liver-(heart-)lung Tx in patients with severe refractory PPHT.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - Jan 15 2002|
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