Background: In the general population, a positive dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE) in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) still identifies a high risk group. DSE is a widely employed screening method in candidates for liver transplantation. We investigated the prognostic impact of a positive DSE, CAD, and clinical factors in advanced liver disease.
Methods: We obtained follow-up for cardiovascular events (angina requiring revascularization, heart failure, infarction, and cardiac death) in 61 liver transplant candidates who had positive DSE and coronary angiography. Event-free survival was compared between 22 patients with obstructive CAD (≥ 70% stenosis) and 39 patients with no obstructive CAD. Cox regression was used to identify factors associated with events.
Results: Over a mean follow-up of 27 ± 28 months, 21% (8/39) of patients with positive DSE and no CAD had events compared with 45% (10/22) of patients with positive DSE and CAD (p = 0.04). Event free survival was better in those without CAD (p = 0.014) but one year cardiac mortality was similar in those with (9%) and without CAD (8%). Multivariable analysis showed that beta blocker use (HR: 4.1, 95% CI: 1.7 – 9.9, p-value = 0.010), CAD (HR: 4.4 95% CI: 1.8– 10.8, p-value = 0.008), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (HR: 4.9, 95% CI: 2.0 – 11.7, p-value = 0.04) were independently associated with events.
Conclusion: Advanced liver disease patients with positive DSE are at increased risk. CAD, beta blocker use and NASH are independently associated with cardiac events.
Dobutamine stress echo, End-stage liver disease, Coronary artery disease