Severe portopulmonary hypertension (POPH) is a contraindication for liver transplantation (LT) because of the high risk of postoperative heart failure. The early detection of POPH is important for patients with biliary atresia (BA). Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is known to be correlated with liver fibrosis in patients with liver cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to elucidate the efficacy of BNP measurement for the follow-up of patients with BA. Thirty-two patients with BA were identified from September 2011 to December 2016. As indices of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis, APRI (P <.0001), FIB-4 (P <.0001), Child-Pugh score (P <.0001), IV collagen (P =.0005), and hyaluronic acid (P =.0291) had high or moderate correlations with BNP. Patients with splenomegaly, esophageal varices, liver fibrosis, and collateral veins had significantly higher BNP levels than those without. Patients diagnosed with POPH had significantly higher BNP levels in comparison with those patients without (P =.0068). In contrast, PELD/MELD scores showed an almost negligible correlation with the BNP level. LT was successful in 3 asymptomatic BA patients with POPH who had high BNP levels despite the low PELD/MELD scores. In conclusion, routine serum BNP surveillance can be easy to predict asymptomatic POPH. This may help to identify POPH before it reaches a stage that would contraindicate LT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health