Portopulmonary Hypertension in Nontransplanted Patients: Results of the Largest US Single-Institution Registry

Hector R. Cajigas, Charles D. Burger, Rodrigo Cartin-Ceba, Hilary DuBrock, Karen Swanson, Hugo E. Vargas, Andrew P. Keaveny, Kymberly D. Watt, Michael Krowka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore clinical characteristics, risk profiles, and outcomes of patients with portopulmonary hypertension (PoPH) who have contraindications to liver transplant (LT). Methods: From the largest US single-institution registry of patients with PoPH, we analyzed 160 patients who did not receive LT between 1988 to 2019. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)–pertinent characteristics, hemodynamic features, treatments, and risk stratification were compared at baseline, first follow-up visit, and censor/death time. Results: Median survival for the entire cohort was 27.5 months from the diagnosis of PoPH. Overall survival was 89%, 77%, 51%, and 38% at 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years, respectively. Survival was significantly affected by the severity of liver disease (P<.001). Most patients received PAH-specific therapies (136 [85%]), predominantly monotherapy (123 [77%)]. With treatment, significant improvements were noted in World Health Organization functional class (P=.04), 6-minute walk distance (P<.001), right ventricular function (P<.001), pulmonary vascular resistance (P<.001), and Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-term Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Disease Management (REVEAL) Lite 2 score (P=.02) univariately. Per European Society of Cardiology risk stratification, no patient met full criteria for low risk at baseline or at follow-up. In a multivariate Cox risk model, 6-minute walk distance, right atrial pressure, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, bilirubin level, and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease–sodium score of 15 or higher were associated with increased risk of death. Conclusion: Patients with PoPH who did not undergo LT had a poor prognosis. This persisted despite use of PAH-specific therapies and significant improvements in hemodynamics, echocardiography parameters of right ventricle function, 6-minute walk distance, and World Health Organization functional class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2236-2247
Number of pages12
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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