Critical Care of the End-Stage Liver Disease Patient Awaiting Liver Transplantation

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
Liver Transplantation (Impact Factor: 4.24). 05/2011; 17(5):496-510. DOI: 10.1002/lt.22269
Source: PubMed


Patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation frequently require intensive care admission and management due to either complications of liver failure or to intercurrent illness, particularly infection. Mortality in such patients is high and the development of an illness necessitating intensive care unit management can influence transplant candidacy. Specialized support frequently requires hemodynamic support, mechanical ventilation, and renal support. In this review, areas of management of particular importance to patients with end-stage liver disease in the intensive care unit are discussed. These areas are hepatic encephalopathy, infectious diseases, cardiovascular support, mechanical ventilation, renal support and combined transplantation, and decisions regarding delisting. Current knowledge specific to these patients, when available, is discussed, current practice is described, and areas of uncertainty in the evidence are discussed.

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Available from: Catherine Paugam-Burtz, Mar 16, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of patients who undergo liver transplantation (LT) spend some time in the intensive care unit during the postoperative period. For some, this is an expected part of the immediate posttransplant recovery period, whereas for others, the stay is more prolonged because of preexisting conditions, intraoperative events, or postoperative complications. In this review, 4 topics that are particularly relevant to the postoperative intensive care of LT recipients are discussed, with an emphasis on current knowledge specific to this patient group. Infectious complications are the most common causes of early posttransplant morbidity and mortality. The common patterns of infection seen in patients after LT and their management are discussed. Acute kidney injury and renal failure are common in post-LT patients. Kidney injury identification, etiologies, and risk factors and approaches to management are reviewed. The majority of patients will require weaning from mechanical ventilation in the immediate postoperative period; the approach to this is discussed along with the approach for those patients who require a prolonged period of mechanical ventilation. A poorly functioning graft requires prompt identification and appropriate management if the outcomes are to be optimized. The causes of poor graft function are systematically reviewed, and the management of these grafts is discussed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Liver Transplantation
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced liver disease is associated with hypoxemia and respiratory failure by various mechanisms. Patients with cirrhosis are especially prone to episodes of decompensation requiring intensive care unit admission and management. Such patients may already be in acute liver failure or have decompensated due to a concurrent illness such as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, sepsis, encephalopathy, varices, or hepatorenal syndrome. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is one of the main reasons for intensive care unit admission and mortality. Overall, critically ill cirrhotic patients frequently progress to multiorgan failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Caring for such patients is therefore understandably complex and extremely challenging. Patients with end-stage liver disease are especially at risk for developing acute respiratory failure and hypoxemia secondary to hepatopulmonary syndrome, portopulmonary hypertension, and hepatic hydrothorax. They should therefore be screened for these conditions because failure to recognize and adequately treat these serious complications of cirrhosis may have devastating consequences. This article is based on a review of the current literature on how to approach and manage acute respiratory failure in advanced liver disease, which is important to intensivists, anesthesiologists, and physicians as a whole.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
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