Early neurologic complications after liver transplant are associated with reduced long-term survival and increased rates of rejection

Mian B. Khalid, Agnieszka Nagorna, Noa Rippel, Ghideon Ezaz, Thomas D. Schiano, James F. Crismale

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1 Scopus citations


Neurologic complications (NCs) are common following liver transplantation (LT) and have been associated with impaired short-term survival. The impact of NC on long-term survival is less defined. We aimed to characterize these outcomes and assess for risk factors for post-LT NC. We performed a single-center, retrospective review of 521 patients with LT from 2016 to 2020. Baseline clinical and laboratory factors, intraoperative events, and outcomes were compared between patients with and without NC. The 5-year overall and rejection-free survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier analysis. Multivariable logistic regression assessed for an independent relationship between risk factors and the development of NC. Among 521 LT recipients, 24% experienced post-LT NC. Overall and rejection-free survival at 5 years was, respectively, 69% and 75% among those with NC versus 87% and 88% among those without NC (log-rank < 0.001). Among those who survived the first 3 months after LT, overall survival but not rejection-free survival was reduced among patients with NC. Risk factors for developing NC included peri-LT serum sodium (ΔSNa) ≥ 6 (29.4% vs. 20.5%, p = 0.04), grade 3 or 4 HE pre-LT, SNa < 125 pre-LT, and more intraoperative transfusions. In a multivariable logistic regression model controlling for described variables, SNa < 125 (or 0.21, 95% CI, 0.06-0.74) at LT and pre-LT HE grade 3 or 4 (or 0.45, 95% CI, 0.26-0.76) was independently associated with NC. Long-term survival was reduced among patients who developed NC in the immediate post-transplant period, even when censoring those who died in the first 3 months. Post-LT NC was associated with perioperative ΔSNa ≥ 6. Optimization of SNa pre-LT > 125 and limiting perioperative ΔSNa <6 mEq/L might have a beneficial impact in decreasing NC post-LT, which may improve long-term post-LT survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1088
Number of pages10
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


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