Cardiovascular risk factors following orthotopic liver transplantation: Predisposing factors, incidence and management

Shireena Desai, Johnny C. Hong, Sammy Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Background: Liver transplantation is the standard of care for acute and chronic causes of end-stage liver disease. Advances in medical therapy and surgical techniques have led to improvement of patient and graft survival rates following orthotopic liver transplantation. However, the prevalence of post-transplant cardiovascular complications has been rising with increased life expectancy after liver transplantation. Aims: To determine the incidences, risk factors, and treatment for hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, and obesity in the post-liver transplantation population. Methods: We performed a review of relevant studies available on the PubMed database that provided information on the incidence, risk factors and treatment for cardiovascular complications that develop in the post-liver transplantation population. Results: Current immunosuppressive agents have improved patient and graft survival rates. However, long-term exposure to these agents has been associated with development of systemic and metabolic complications including hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus and obesity. Cardiovascular disease remains one of the most common causes of death in liver transplant patients with functional grafts. Conclusions: Liver transplant recipients have a higher risk of cardiovascular complications compared with the nontransplant population. Post-transplant cardiac risk stratification and aggressive treatment of cardiovascular complications, including modification of risk factors and tailoring of immunosuppressive regimen, is imperative to prevent serious complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)948-957
Number of pages10
JournalLiver International
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology


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