AIM To examine if liver transplant recipients with high-risk non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are at increased risk for pre-transplant portal venous thrombosis. METHODS Data on all liver transplants in the United States from February 2002 through September 2014 were analyzed. Recipients were sorted into three distinct groups: High-risk (age > 60, body mass index > 30 kg/m2, hypertension and diabetes), low-risk and non-NASH cirrhosis. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed. RESULTS Thirty-five thousand and seventy-two candidates underwent liver transplantation and of those organ recipients, 465 were transplanted for high-risk and 2775 for lowrisk NASH. Two thousand six hundred and twentysix (7.5%) recipients had pre-transplant portal vein thrombosis; 66 (14.2%) of the high-risk NASH group had portal vein thrombosis vs 328 (11.8%) of the lowrisk NASH group. In general, all NASH recipients were less likely to be male or African American and more likely to be obese. In adjusted multivariable regression analyses, high-risk recipients had the greatest risk of pre-transplant portal vein thrombosis with OR = 2.11 (95%CI: 1.60-2.76, p < 0.001) when referenced to the non-NASH group. CONCLUSION Liver transplant candidates with high-risk NASH are at the greatest risk for portal vein thrombosis development prior to transplantation. These candidates may benefit from interventions to decrease their likelihood of clot formation and resultant downstream hepatic decompensating events. Prospective study is needed.
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