Successful use of chronic epoprostenol as a bridge to liver transplantation in severe portopulmonary hypertension.
BACKGROUND: Portopulmonary hypertension, defined as mean pulmonary artery pressure >25 mmHg in the presence of a normal pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and portal hypertension, is a known complication of end-stage liver disease that has been associated with high morbidity and mortality at the time of liver transplantation. We have recently reported the successful treatment of portopulmonary hypertension with chronic intravenous epoprostenol and now report the first patient with severe portopulmonary hypertension successfully treated with epoprostenol who subsequently underwent successful liver transplantation. METHODS: A patient with severe portopulmonary hypertension was treated with intravenous epoprostenol, 23 ng/kg/min, for a 4-month period, after which the portopulmonary hypertension resolved and the patient underwent successful liver transplantation. RESULTS: The patient was discharged, continues to do well, and at 3 months is off epoprostenol with near normal pulmonary artery pressures. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic epoprostenol, in conjunction with a multidisciplinary, well-planned perioperative evaluation and treatment plan, may be the answer to a heretofore untreatable disease.
Plotkin, JS; Kuo, PC; Rubin, LJ; Gaine, S; Howell, CD; Laurin, J; Njoku, MJ; Lim, JW; Johnson, LB
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