High Coronary Artery Calcium Score Is Associated With Increased Major Adverse Cardiac Events After Liver Transplantation

Amanda Su, Erik Almazan, Vorada Sakulsaengprapha, Jessica Shay, Ilan Wittstein, Muhammad Hammami, Aliaksei Pustavoitau, Nicole Rizkalla, Saleh Alqahtani, Tinsay Woreta, James P. Hamilton, Ruhail Kohli, Shane E. Ottmann, Ahmet Gurakar, Po Hung Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Liver transplantation (LT) candidates frequently have multiple cardiovascular risk factors, and cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after LT. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores are a noninvasive assessment of coronary artery disease using computed tomography. This study examines CAC scores and cardiac risk factors and their association with outcomes after LT. Methods. Patients who underwent LT between January 2010 and June 2019 with a pretransplant CAC score were included in this study. Patients were divided by CAC score into 4 groups (CAC score 0, CAC score 1-100, CAC score 101-400, CAC score >400). Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) were defined as myocardial infarction, stroke, revascularization, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and cardiovascular death. Associations between CAC score and MACE or all-cause mortality within the 5-y post-LT follow-up period were analyzed using Cox regression. Statistical significance was defined as P < 0.05. Results. During the study period, 773 adult patients underwent their first LT, and 227 patients met our study criteria. The median follow-up time was 3.4 (interquartile range 1.9, 5.3) y. After 5 y, death occurred in 47 patients (20.7%) and MACE in 47 patients (20.7%). In multivariable analysis, there was no difference in death between CAC score groups. There was significantly higher risk of MACE in the CAC score >400 group, with a hazard ratio 2.58 (95% confidence interval 1.05, 6.29). Conclusions. CAC score was not associated with all-cause mortality. Patients with CAC score >400 had an increase in MACEs within the 5-y follow-up period compared with patients with a CAC score = 0. Further research with larger cohorts is needed to examine cardiac risk stratification in this vulnerable patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1426
JournalTransplantation Direct
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 6 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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