Restless Legs Syndrome in Liver Transplant Recipients


Background: The prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is approximately 10% in general population. This condition is more prevalent in certain diseases and we previously reported the prevalence of RLS in chronic liver disease population to be 62%. Objectives: Our aim was to assess the self-reported prevalence of RLS using an RLS symptom specific questionnaire in liver transplant patients. Methods: Subjects were a convenience sample in transplant clinic. They completed a validated survey for core RLS symptoms and if positive went on to completed a telephone survey using the validated International RLS Severity Scale Questionnaire (IRLS) and the Johns Hopkins RLS QoL survey to measure the effect of RLS symptoms on daily activities. Results: 40 patients surveyed, RLS was found in 16 subjects (40%) with moderate severity {17 (SD + 7.2, high score 31)}. Hepatitis C as indication for liver transplant was more likely associated with RLS (p = 0.05). Calcium channel blockers were protective (p = 0.032) while antidopaminergic agent use was statistically significant for RLS symptom (p = 0.005). On multiple linear regression analysis, diabetes (p = 0.024) and use of antidepressants/antihistamines (p = 0.049) were associated with RLS. Quality of Life (QoL) surveys specific to RLS suggested RLS symptoms resulted in significantly diminished QoL, with an average QoL score of 80 (SD + 11.7). Conclusion: There was a very high prevalence of RLS in our liver transplant patients with majority experiencing moderate or severe symptoms. The explanation for this higher prevalence is likely due to combination of comorbidites as well as medications that can trigger RLS.

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R. Franco, S. Rizvi, J. Franco and F. Rizvi, "Restless Legs Syndrome in Liver Transplant Recipients," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 145-151. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2013.43026.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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