Statin Therapy and the Incidence of Thromboembolism and Vascular Events Following Liver Transplantation

Peter E. Frasco, Bashar Aqel, Jeremy M. Alvord, Karl A. Poterack, Isabel Bauer, Amit K. Mathur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statin therapy may reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which may impact solid organ transplant outcomes. We evaluated the incidence of VTE and other complications after liver transplantation stratified by hyperlipidemia status and statin use using a retrospective cohort study approach. We reviewed all primary orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) records from January 2014 to December 2019 from our center. Intraoperative deaths were excluded. Recipient, donor clinical and demographic data were collected. We developed risk-adjusted models to assess the effect of statin use on the occurrence of VTE, hepatic artery complications (HACs), graft failure, and death, accounting for clinical covariates and competing risks. A total of 672 OLT recipients were included in the analysis. Of this cohort, 11.9% (n = 80) received statin therapy. A total of 47 patients (7.0%) had VTE events. HACs occurred in 40 patients (6.0%). A total of 42 (6.1%) patients experienced graft loss, whereas 9.1% (n = 61) of the cohort died during the study interval. Eighty OLT recipients (29.8%) were treated with statins. In the statin treated group, 0% of patients had VTE versus 7.9% of those not on statins (P = 0.02). HACs were identified in 1.2% of the statin group and 6.8% of the nonstatin group. Untreated hyperlipidemia was associated with a 2.1-fold higher risk of HACs versus patients with no hyperlipidemia status (P = 0.05). Statin therapy was associated with significantly better risk-adjusted thromboembolic event-free survival (absence of VTE, cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, HACs, and death); hazard ratio, 2.7; P = 0.01. These data indicate that statin therapy is correlated with a lower rate of VTE and HACs after liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1442
Number of pages11
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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