The authors investigated whether cigarette smoking is associated with an increased incidence of vascular complications after liver transplantation.
They published their results in the July issue of Liver Transplantation.
Hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) and other vascular complications are significant causes of morbidity after liver transplantation.
Although cigarette smoking increases the risk of vascular complications after renal transplantation, its impact after liver transplantation remains unknown.
Between 1995 and 2001, 288 liver transplantations were performed in 263 patients at the authors' institution.
Vascular complications developed in 14% of the patients (arterial complications, 10%, venous complications, 4%).
In patients with a history of cigarette smoking, the incidence of vascular complications was higher than in those without history of cigarette smoking (18% vs 8%).
|Incidence of vascular complications:|
| Liver Transplantation |
Having quit cigarette smoking 2 years before liver transplantation reduced the incidence of vascular complications by 59% (24% vs 12%).
The researchers found that the incidence of arterial complications was also higher in patients with a history of cigarette smoking compared with those without such history (14% vs 5%).
Furthermore, cigarette smoking cessation for 2 years reduced the risk of arterial complications by 78% (22% vs 6%).
However, the incidence of venous complications was not associated with cigarette smoking.
Moreover, there was no significant association between development of vascular complications and all other characteristics studied.
Author Surakit Pungpapong, of the Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, said on behalf of fellow colleagues, "Cigarette smoking is associated with a higher risk for developing vascular complications, especially arterial complications after liver transplantation."
"Cigarette smoking cessation should be an essential requirement for liver transplantation candidates to decrease the morbidity arising from vascular complication after liver transplantation," it was concluded.