There are several case reports in the literature that describe cardiac complications in the first few weeks after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in patients receiving tacrolimus as their primary immunosuppressive therapy. In this study, we investigated the cardiac function of patients on tacrolimus (T) compared with those on cyclosporin (C) (Neoral; Novartis, Basel, Switzerland) immunosuppression, after OLT, in a prospective randomized trial. We randomized 40 adult patients with cirrhosis to either T or C with azathioprine and prednisolone immunosuppression and followed up on them for 3 months after OLT. All had detailed Clinical, biochemical, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic assessments at regular intervals. Abnormalities in cardiac function were common after OLT and significant deterioration in left ventricular diastolic function was demonstrable up to 3 months in both patient groups. Cardiac function was similar in the T and C arms and no significant electrocardiographic differences were observed, although reduced heart rate variability (HRV) and higher mean serum brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels were identified in the T group. The percentage increase in posterior wall thickness was higher in the T group. Cardiac dysfunction as shown by worsening echocardiographic measures of left ventricular diastolic function and by clinical cardiac events is common in the first 3 months after OLT in patients with cirrhosis. HRV and BNP values in the T group were worse than in the C group, but this was not translated to an increase in cardiac clinical events in this study.
- BRAIN NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE
- LEFT-VENTRICULAR HYPERTROPHY
- FAMILIAL AMYLOIDOTIC POLYNEUROPATHY
- CADAVERIC RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION
- AUTONOMIC NEUROPATHY
- PARASYMPATHETIC ACTIVITY