This study attempts to evaluate the efficacy of dobutamine stress echocardiography for preoperative cardiac risk stratification in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation. Two hundred twenty consecutively submitted patients were evaluated in preparation for orthotopic liver transplantation. Dobutamine stress echocardiography was performed in 80 patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Follow-up information was available in 40 patients in the form of cardiac catheterization and/or outcome from liver transplantation to validate the dobutamine stress echo findings. The prevalence of coronary artery disease in this cohort was 5% and was closely associated with the presence of diabetes mellitus. Dobutamine stress echocardiography, when interpreted as abnormal in the presence of wall motion abnormalities only, is associated with a sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value of 100%. Dobutamine stress echocardiography is highly efficacious and should be the screening study of choice to detect coronary artery disease in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation.
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