Time course of resolution of pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular remodeling after orthotopic cardiac transplantation.
Most patients with severe congestive heart failure have secondary pulmonary hypertension (PHT). Elevation of pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) to greater than 480 dynes.sec.cm-5 (6 Wood units) is currently the principle hemodynamic contraindication to orthotopic cardiac transplantation. We performed serial two-dimensional Doppler echocardiographic examinations and right heart catheterizations in 24 recipients (21 men, 14-58 years old) of orthotopic cardiac transplants to determine the time course of resolution of PHT and the concomitant remodeling of the donor right ventricle. Right and left heart filling pressures declined in parallel and reached the upper normal range at 2 weeks after the transplant procedure and remained unchanged at 1 year follow-up. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mm Hg) decreased from 38 +/- 9 preoperatively to 22 +/- 5 at 2 weeks and was 19 +/- 5 at 1 year after the transplantation procedure. At 1 year after surgery, PVR had decreased from 202 +/- 89 dynes.sec.cm-5 preoperatively to 99 +/- 36 dynes.sec.cm-5 (p less than .001), while cardiac output increased from 3.7 +/- 1.2 to 6.3 +/- 1.5 liters/min (p less than .001). Echocardiographic analysis showed that transplant recipients had an enlarged right ventricle on day 1 after surgery, and a volume overload contraction pattern and tricuspid regurgitation was present in the majority. This increase in right ventricular size was maintained at 1 year follow-up while the incidence of tricuspid regurgitation decreased. We conclude that there is rapid resolution of moderately elevated pulmonary arterial pressures after cardiac transplantation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association