Does the cardioplegic solution have an effect on early outcomes following heart transplantation?

Aldo Cannata, Luca Botta, Tiziano Colombo, Claudio F. Russo, Corrado Taglieri, Giuseppe Bruschi, Bruno Merlanti, Maria Frigerio, Luigi Martinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The choice of cardioplegic solution for myocardial preservation in heart transplantation (HT) remains debated. We analysed our experience with three different cardioplegic solutions in adult HT performed during past 5 years, in terms of non-immunological intraoperative biventricular graft failure (BVF) and in-hospital mortality. METHODS: A total of 133 patients underwent HT at our hospital from January 2006 to December 2010. Patients were divided into three groups, according to the solution adopted in the donor: HTK-Custodiol (n = 61), Celsior (n = 38) and St Thomas (n = 34). For each patient, solution was chosen according to surgeon's preference. RESULTS: Recipient and donor mean age was 48.2 ± 12.7 and 43.8 ± 13.6 years, respectively. Twenty-four patients (18.0%) were in Status 1 at the transplant. The mean ischaemic time was 187.9 ± 52.6 min. Intraoperative BVF was observed in 18 cases (13.5%). Patients with BVF, and their respective donors, were older than the other patients (patients: 53.3 vs 47.4 years, P = 0.06; donors: 49.4 vs 42.9 years, P 0.06), and experienced significantly higher in-hospital mortality (47.3 vs 7.8%, P = 0.0001). The combination of patients aged60 years or older with donors aged 60 years or older carried a mortality of 66.6% (6 out of 9). The three groups of patients did not differ significantly in terms of preoperative and intraoperative features and outcomes, including biventricular graft failure and death. At multivariate analysis, predictors of in-hospital death were a combination of both a recipient and a donor aged =60 years (OR 27.9), intraoperative BVF (OR 14.8) and previous cardiac surgery (OR 13.0). Cardioplegic solution did not predict mortality. CONCLUSIONS: We did not observe a significant effect of the kind of cardioplegic solution on the early HT outcomes. The combination between both a recipient and a donor aged =60 years, reoperation and BVF are strong predictors of in-hospital death.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Heart transplantation
  • Myocardial preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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