Higher Transaminase Levels in the Postoperative Period After Orthotopic Heart Transplantation Are Associated With Worse Survival

Eniko Holndonner-Kirst, Adam Nagy, Nikoletta Rahel Czobor, Levente Fazekas, Daniel Janos Lex, Balazs Sax, Istvan Hartyanszky, B. Merkely, J. Gál, Andrea Szekely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Preoperative liver function in heart failure patients is associated with extensive functional, structural, and hemodynamic abnormalities. The authors hypothesized that perioperative liver dysfunction is associated with worse 2-year survival after orthotopic heart transplantation. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Single-center, university hospital. Participants: The study comprised 209 consecutive patients undergoing heart transplantation. Interventions: No interventions. Measurements and Main Results: Hepatobiliary markers, hemodynamic parameters, echocardiographic parameters, the need for mechanical cardiac support, demographic parameters, and United Network for Organ Sharing and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores were investigated. Fifty-five patients (26.3%) died, and the mean survival time was 3.61 years after transplantation. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, in addition to the preoperative modified MELD score, the 4th quartiles of the maximum aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase levels on the 4th through 7th postoperative days were independently associated with mortality (odds ratio [OR] 2.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-5.55; p = 0.031 and OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.13-5.18; p = 0.024, respectively). By expressing the transaminase values as the multiplier of the sex-specific top normal value, the maximum AST and alanine transaminase levels (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.02; p < 0.001 and OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03; p = 0.001, respectively) were linked to worse survival. Among the postdischarge parameters, the modified MELD score (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.09-1.27; p < 0.001) and the AST level were associated with postdischarge mortality (OR 1.002, 95% CI 1.001-1.003; p < 0.001 as a continuous variable; OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.05-1.10; p < 0.001, expressed as the multiplier of the sex-specific normal value, respectively). Conclusions: The severity of postoperative liver dysfunction negatively influences survival after heart transplantation, and liver function should be closely assessed in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Heart transplantation
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Model for End-Stage Liver Disease
  • Transaminase level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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