Management of anesthesia during dynamic cardiomyoplasty

Elisa Domenegati, Marco Maurelli, Maria G. Chiaudani, Andrea Pagnin, Mauro Rinaldi

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Study Objective: To review experience with anesthetic management in ten patients undergoing dynamic cardiomyoplasty (CMPL), a new surgical technique that serves as an alternative to heart transplantation. Design: Retrospective clinical study. Setting: Cardiothoracic operating room at a university hospital. Patients: Ten male functional New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III and IV patients, aged 39 to 60 years, awaiting heart transplantation, 7 of whom were diagnosed with dilated cardiomyapathy, 3 with postischemic cardiomyopathy. Interventions: Under general anesthesia, the latissimus dorsi muscle was harvested and rotated into the chest through a window in the second rib. The muscle was then wrapped around the heart. Starting from the second postoperative week, the latissimus dorsi was stimulated to provide assistance to a failing heart. Measurements and Main Results: The mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of the 10 patients was 24.89% ± 9.17% (range 10% to 37%). No intraoperative death occurred. Two patients died of multiple organ failure and an apparent arrhythmia on the 15th and 25th postoperative days, respectively. The rest of the patients regained good working capacity postoperatively, as evidenced by improvement in NYHA grade. Nevertheless, the LVEF improved in only one patient. No significant differences were evident between preoperative and postoperative blood values, hemodynamic data, or spirometry. Conclusions: Dynamic CMPL is a considerable challenge for the anesthesiologist because these patients have poor cardiac reserve preoperatively and do not benefit from the procedure in the first two postoperative weeks. To date, CMPL seems to be an important alternative to heart transplantation because experience has shown an improvement in the quality of life with low intraoperative and postoperative complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Anesthesia, cardiovascular
  • cardiomyoplasty, dynamic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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