Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 109-114

Evaluation of liver transplant candidates: A pulmonary perspective


Department of Pulmonary Disease, Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Serife Savas Bozbas
Baskent University, Faculty of Medicine, F. Cakmak Cad, Bahcelievler, 06490 Ankara
Turkey
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.82436

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Chronic liver disease is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the worldwide adult population. Liver transplant is the gold standard therapy for end-stage liver disease and many patients are on the waiting list for a transplant. A variety of pulmonary disorders are encountered in cirrhotic patients. Pleura, lung parenchyma, and pulmonary vasculature may be affected in these patients. Hypoxemia is relatively common and can be asymptomatic. Hepatopulmonary syndrome should be investigated in hypoxic cirrhotic patients. Gas exchange abnormalities are common and are generally correlated with the severity of liver disease. Both obstructive and restrictive types of airway disease can be present. Abnormal diffusion capacity is the most frequently observed pulmonary function disorder in patients with cirrhosis. Hepatic hydrothorax is another finding which is usually seen in conjunction with, but occasionally without ascites. Portopulmonary hypertension is a complication of long standing liver dysfunction and when severe, is accepted as a containdication to liver transplant. Since respiratory disorders are common and have significant impact on postoperative outcome in patients undergoing liver transplant, a careful preoperative pulmonary assessment is important.


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