Cardiovascular Dysfunction in Advanced Liver Disease and After Liver Transplantation

Years funded:
2018 - 2020

Liver disease affects at least 20% of the Australian population. Liver transplantation (LT) is the only curative treatment option for patients with life-threatening liver disease. 

It is well recognised that cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes or morbidity and mortality in patients after LT. 

The scarcity of donor organs means that LT is a limited and valuable resource. Therefore, potential transplant candidates undergo detailed cardiac assessment prior to LT to exclude those with significant underlying cardiovascular disease. 

This study will examine a new approach to improve detection and early treatment of heart disease in LT candidates. It integrates screening with CT imaging of coronary arteries and an assessment of heart function with stress testing. 

Follow-up CT imaging of heart arteries will be performed to assess if LT itself predisposes patients to rapid progression of coronary heart disease.

Patients with advanced liver disease can also have structural changes in the heart that predispose them to heart failure before and after LT. 

This study aims to further investigate this phenomenon called 'cirrhotic cardiomyopathy' with serial heart ultrasound scans. 

The cardiac effects of a medication called terlipressin, used in patients with advanced liver disease, will additionally be studied with the expectation that it may play a role in reversing this syndrome.

Researcher Profile

Dr Anoop Koshy

Institute: University of Melbourne
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