Liver stiffness measurements and short-term survival after left ventricular assist device implantation: A pilot study.

The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation

PubMedID: 26169664

Potthoff A, Schettler A, Attia D, Schlue J, Schmitto JD, Fegbeutel C, Strüber M, Haverich A, Manns MP, Wedemeyer H, Gebel M, Schneider A. Liver stiffness measurements and short-term survival after left ventricular assist device implantation: A pilot study. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2015;.
BACKGROUND
Hepatic dysfunction can contribute to the clinical outcome of patients with end-stage chronic heart failure (HF). This pilot study evaluated the importance of liver stiffness (LS) measurements by acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging elastography in patients with end-stage chronic HF who underwent left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation.

METHODS
The study enrolled 28 patients (23 men), mean age of 54 ± 11 years, with end-stage chronic HF selected for LVAD implantation. At baseline, all patients received LS measurements using ARFI elastography. Hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements and transjugular liver biopsies were performed in 16 patients. Liver stiffness was measured 21 days (Follow-up 1, n = 23) and 485 ± 136 days (Follow-up 2, n = 13) after LVAD implantation. Patients were classified according to their baseline LS into Group I (low baseline LS [no significant fibrosis = Metavir F < 2]) or Group II (high baseline LS [significant fibrosis = Metavir F = 2]).

RESULTS
LS at baseline was higher in Group II than in Group I (p < 0.001) and decreased significantly after LVAD implantation (Follow-up 1, p = 0.002; Follow-up 2, p = 0.002). Baseline LS correlated with liver fibrosis (p = 0.049) and central venous pressure (p = 0.001). Non-survivors showed higher LS (p = 0.019), bilirubin (p = 0.018), Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score (p = 0.001), and liver fibrosis (p = 0.004) compared with the survivors. In the univariate analysis, LS was a significant factor (p = 0.017) in predicting survival after LVAD implantation.

CONCLUSIONS
ARFI elastography shows that LS is influenced by central venous congestion and histologic changes of the liver in patients with end-stage chronic HF. LS may predict the outcome in patients after LVAD implantation.