The prevalence of right ventricular failure after orthotopic heart transplantation, evaluated in 196 patients, was 11.7%, as assessed by the presence during the first postoperative month of right atrial pressure > 10 mm Hg. Two deaths, related to refractory right ventricular failure, were observed within the first month, both in subjects with preoperative pulmonary arteriolar resistances > 5 Wood Units. The haemodynamic profile after heart transplantation showed a significant decrease (P <0.01) and an early normalization of pulmonary arterial pressure, pulmonary wedge pressure and pulmonary arteriolar resistances, while right atrial pressure slowly decreased until the third month. In a long-term analysis of survival (death within 1 year) the probability of death was significantly related to the values of right atrial pressure and cardiac index during the first month after heart transplantation. Otherwise, the presence of elevated values of right atrial pressure did not show a significant correlation with the echocardiographic right ventricular end-diastolic diameter nor with the presence of right bundle branch block. The careful selection of patients referred for the cardiac transplantation (mean value of pulmonary arteriolar resistances in the evaluated subjects was 2.5 +/- 1.5 Wood Units) improves the probability of avoiding the appearance of severe right ventricular failure in the postoperative period in most cases. The best predictor of right ventricular failure remains to be clearly identified.
|Volume||5 Suppl 1|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|
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