Patent foramen ovale in liver transplant recipients does not negatively impact short-term outcomes

Monia E. Werlang, William C. Palmer, Evelyn A. Boyd, David J. Cangemi, Denise M. Harnois, Cemal B. Taner, Fernando F. Stancampiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aim: Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common atrial septal defect that is largely asymptomatic and often undiagnosed. The impact of a PFO in patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT) is unknown. Objective: Assess the impact of PFO and physiologic intrapulmonary shunt (IPS) on the perioperative outcomes of patients who underwent LT. Methods: We performed a retrospective, intention-to-treat analysis of patients with PFO and controls without PFO who underwent LT at Mayo Clinic in Florida between 2008 and 2013. Patients with physiologic IPS were also analyzed. The cohorts were compared for baseline characteristics, length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), postoperative oxygen requirements, 30-d cerebrovascular accidents, and mortality. Results: Of the 935 patients who underwent LT, 10.4% had proven PFO by pre-LT echocardiogram. Control patients (n = 101) were statistically older than PFO and IPS (n = 56) patients, but similar in sex, BMI, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, American Society of Anesthesiologist score, and left ventricular ejection fraction. PFO and IPS patients had similar length of stay in the ICU, mechanical ventilation times, post-LT oxygen requirements, and 30-d mortality compared to controls. Subgroup analysis showed similar outcomes for large PFO and IPS patients to controls. Conclusions: The presence of PFO did not have a negative impact on perioperative LT outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Intrapulmonary shunt
  • Liver transplantation
  • Mortality
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Preoperative evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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