Is pre-transplant vascular disease a risk factor for mortality and morbidity after heart transplantation?

Takayama, Hiroo; Nathens, Avery B.; Merry, Heather; Aldea, Gabriel S.; Fishbein, Daniel P.; Verrier, Edward D.; Salerno, Christopher T.
March 2007
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Mar2007, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p457
Academic Journal
Abstract: Background: Severe vascular disease is a relative contraindication to heart transplantation (HTx). We addressed the effect of vascular disease on HTx outcomes. Methods: This is a nonconcurrent cohort study of 402 patients who received HTx at our institution between 1985 and 2004. Pre-transplant vascular evaluation included carotid, lower extremity, and renal artery duplex studies, and CT angiogram when indicated. Patients with severe and nontreatable vascular disease were excluded. Patients were divided into Group 1: those with pre-transplant vasculopathy, and Group 2: those without pre-transplant vasculopathy. Group 1 had 24 patients with 25 vascular lesions: 1 aortic dissection, 2 abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)''s, 5 carotid artery stenoses, 1 renal artery stenosis, and 16 peripheral vascular lesions. Interventions were performed to 15 lesions prior to HTx and to 2 lesions after HTx. Results: Median follow-up was 5.5 years. Group 1 had higher incidence of ischemic cardiomyopathy (p <0.001), hypertension (p =0.028), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (p =0.004), and smoking history (p <0.001). There were no differences in sex, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, stroke, or renal dysfunction. Multivariate analysis revealed odds of post-transplant death in Group 1 was 1.4 (95% CI: 0.48–4.1, p =0.54) times greater than that in Group 2. Cox proportional hazards model for survival showed a 50% increase in the hazard of death in patients with pre-transplant vasculopathy, but without statistical significance. Group 1 had higher incidence of post-transplant stroke (p =0.001) but no difference in allograft coronary atherosclerosis. Conclusions: Pre-transplant vascular disease seems to have negative effect on outcomes after HTx. Larger scale study is needed for further evaluation.


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