Clinical burden of screening asymptomatic patients for coronary artery disease prior to liver transplantation

D. Filì, G. Vizzini, D. Biondo, G. Pietrosi, R. Volpes, U. Palazzo, A. D'Antoni, I. Petridis, A. Luca, B. Gridelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to assess the clinical burden of silent coronary artery disease (CAD) in cirrhotic candidates for liver transplantation (LT), and to evaluate the usefulness of a CAD screening approach. Between July 1999 and January 2006, we evaluated 627 LT candidates. All of them underwent a detailed clinical history. Sixteen had a previous diagnosis of CAD or symptoms suggestive (2.5%). The remaining 611 underwent further tests according to a predefined protocol, including EKG, echocardiogram and, on the basis of CAD risk factors, heart stress tests. Selective coronary angiography (SCA) was performed in the 30 patients with positive heart stress test: in only 2 did SCA show any CAD, and in both it was subcritical disease requiring neither intervention nor contraindicating LT. The 611 screened patients continued their follow-up until study closure or death. No coronary events occurred in the study population in a mean follow-up of 32.50 months (+/- 23.67 DS). No perioperative mortality related to CAD occurred in the 233 transplanted patients. In conclusion, no prognostic advantage was achieved by following a strict CAD screening protocol, leading us to believe that the cost-effectiveness of a similar screening can be unacceptably high in our setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1157
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Cirrhosis
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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