Orthotopic heart transplantation: Standard versus bicaval technique

Antonino M. Grande, Mauro Rinaldi, Andrea M. D'Armini, Carlo Campana, Egidio Traversi, Carlo Pederzolli, Nicola Abbiate, Catherine Klersy, Mario Viganò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compared orthotopic heart transplantation (HT) by bicaval technique with the standard technique. Between January 1995 and December 1997, 117 patients underwent 118 HTs; 71 patients (15 women and 56 men) had 72 HTs by standard technique and 46 patients (9 women, 37 men) underwent HT using bicaval procedures. Preoperative parameters were similar in both groups; 5 patients who underwent the standard technique and no patients who underwent bicaval procedures required permanent pacemakers (p = NS). Isoproterenol infusion was significantly longer in the standard technique. Major perioperative arrhythmias (ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, asystole) appeared in 8.2% and 7.0% of standard and bicaval HTs, respectively; atrial fibrillation appeared in 13.1% and 4.6%, respectively (p = NS). At 1 month, mitral and tricuspid regurgitation rates were higher in the standard group (p = NS); at 1 year only tricuspid regurgitation was still higher (p = NS). Right atrial pressure, Wood units, cardiac output, and cardiac index were examined (p = NS). At multivariate analysis, interaction between preoperative Wood units and transplant type was elicited for Wood units at 1 month and for right atrial pressure at 1, 3, and 6 months. In the high resistance subgroup, the patients who underwent bicaval procedures had higher resistances at 1 month. In the low resistance subgroup, right atrial pressure was higher in patients who underwent standard techniques at 1, 3, and 6 months follow-up. Thus, bicaval HT was found to be safe, without surgically related complications, it provoked significantly less blood loss, and required less isoproterenol use. No significant advantages were observed in conduction disturbances and major arrhythmias or regarding the need for temporary or permanent pacemakers. (C)2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1333
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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