One-year mortality rates are comparable to those from liver transplantation alone
Improvements in surgical techniques have made orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) a viable option for older patients who may also have cardiovascular disease, but poor cardiovascular health may keep transplant candidates from receiving a new organ.
Some such patients can safely undergo angioplasty to correct their heart conditions first, however, those requiring coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) can experience a rapid decline in liver function during the procedure. To address this dilemma, in rare instances, doctors have performed CABG in conjunction with OLT.
Researchers led by Alan Koffron, M.D. of Northwestern University, recently studied five patients experiences with this combined procedure and concluded it can be both safe and effective, with one-year mortality rates similar to those reported for liver transplantation alone. The authors suggest that patients receiving CABG-OLT benefit from multidisciplinary preoperative evaluation, coordination between cardiac and transplant surgeons, careful graft selection, and use of sapheno-atrial veno-veno bypass.
David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
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