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Pulmonary Hypertension

Liver transplant candidate with pulmonary hyp

05/16/2008

Question:

MY MOM NEEDS A LIVER TRANSPLANT WHEN WE WENT TO SEE THE CARDIOLOGIST HE DIAGNOSED PULMONARY HYPERTENSION.SINCE THEN SHE HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM WAITING LIST(FOR TRANSPLANT)BECAUSE DOCTOR SAYS SHE COULD DIE DURING OPERATION.HE PRESCRIBED VIAGRA 3 TIMES A DAY, WE ARE HAVING HARD TIME TO GET MEDI-CAID TO APPROVE THE PRESCRIPTION.IN THE MEAN WHILE WHAT CAN I DO?IF MY MOM CAN`T HAVE THE OPERATION DEATH IS IMMENENT.I LOVE MY MOM ,PLEASE HELP. THANKS!!!

Answer:

Pulmonary hypertension can complicate liver failure (cirrhosis) and can make liver transplant more risky to perform. Ideally, your mother would undergo a right heart catheterization to determine her pulmonary artery pressure as well as some other measurements. A mean (average) pulmonary artery pressure of 35 mmHg and other findings are predictors of a poor outcome at liver transplant. Some liver centers are allowing patients to be treated to improve the pulmonary hypertension prior to transplant and if this is successful then they will transplant these patients. This remains controversial, however, and is not the practice at all centers. If your mother has not seen a pulmonary hypertension specialist then I would recommend that she do so if possible.

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Response by:

Douglas W Haden, MD Douglas W Haden, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University