Liver transplantation (LT) is now a well-established procedure with 5-year survival rates over 70%, and one of its ultimate goals is the improvement of patient health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Osteoporosis remains a serious potential complication of LT, leading to fragility fractures, pain, and functional impairment.
To assess the degree of osteoporosis and the impact of fragility fractures on HRQOL in patients with chronic liver diseases treated with LT.
Twenty-seven patients (14 female, 13 male) at a median period of 3.5 years post LT participated in the study. HRQOL was assessed by Short Form-36 and PBC-40 instruments. Bone mineral density (BMD) in the lumbar spine and hip neck were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire. Data on the duration of the liver disease, time from LT, and fragility fractures were also collected.
As many as 74.1% of the patients had reduced BMD ( t-score < -1.0 SD) in the hip. Mean values of the spine and hip BMD z-scores were -1.1 and -0.9 SD, respectively. Time after LT, percentage of lean tissue, and physical activity were positively associated with BMD. The prevalence of fractures was 48%. We did not find significant differences in age, gender, body composition parameters, physical activity, BMD, and HRQOL scores between the subjects with and without fractures.