ANN ARBOR, Mich.—As thousands of Americans await a life-saving kidney or liver transplant, medical teams are paying close attention to another organ: their hearts, reported Newswise.
This month the American Heart Association attempts to bring harmony to the varied cardiac evaluation policies created at U.S. hospitals that assess a patient’s overall health before transplant surgery.
Approximately 85,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant and 16,000 are waiting for a liver. It’s not unusual for these transplant candidates to be well over age 50 and at increased risk for heart disease.
The AHA statement, co-sponsored by the American College of Cardiology Foundation, was published online ahead of print in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“Conducting clinically and cost-effective cardiac evaluation among patients being considered for kidney and liver transplantation is challenging due to the large size of these target populations which face high cardiac disease prevalence, the organ shortage which raises concerns for fairness and utility in transplantation, and the often extended periods between initial evaluation and transplant surgery,” says working group co-chair Krista L. Lentine, MD, associate professor of medicine at Saint Louis University Center for Outcomes Research and Department of Medicine/Division of Nephrology.
Working group co-chair Salvatore P. Costa, MD, assistant professor of cardiology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical School, chair of the working group Kim A. Eagle, MD, professor of cardiology at the University of Michigan, and colleagues extensively reviewed data regarding cardiac evaluation in kidney transplantation and liver transplantation.
The resulting Scientific Statement considers topics such as the evidence regarding noninvasive stress testing in asymptomatic transplantation candidates, use of supplemental testing including echocardiography and cardiac biomarkers, coronary revascularization and related care before transplantation, and medical management of cardiovascular risk factors before, during and after transplant.