Heart transplantation following cardiomyoplasty: a biological bridge

Chachques, Juan C.; Jegaden, Olivier J.; Bors, Valeria; Mesana, Thierry; Latremouille, Christian; Grandjean, Pierre A.; Fabiani, Jean Noel; Carpentier, Alain
April 2008
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Apr2008, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p685
Academic Journal
Abstract: Objective: Dynamic cardiomyoplasty (CMP) was proposed as a treatment for refractory heart failure; more than 2000 procedures have been performed worldwide. Heart transplantation was indicated afterwards in some CMP patients with recurrent heart failure symptoms. This study reviews the multicentric French experience with CMP followed by heart transplantation. Methods: From 1985 to 2007, 212 patients (mean age 53±11 years) with refractory heart failure (LVEF=22±9%, mean NYHA 3.2) underwent CMP in France. Heart transplantation was performed in 26 patients (12.3%), mean age: 51±11 years, within 2.3±3 years after CMP. Transplantation was indicated for persistent heart failure, i.e. no immediate improvement after CMP (19%) and for recurring heart failure (81%). Results: The surgical technique of heart transplantation following cardiomyoplasty presents few particularities. Routine extracorporeal bypass was instituted between the vena cavas and the ascending aorta. As in most of these patients the CMP procedure had been performed without the need of extracorporeal circulation, hearts were free of previous cannulations for cardiopulmonary bypass. The latissimus dorsi muscle flap was divided as far as possible inside the left pleural cavity and its vascular pedicle was obturated. The proximal portion of the muscle as well as the muscular pacing electrodes were kept in place in the pleural cavity. The adhesions between the flap and the heart were not released so as to achieve an en bloc resection of the heart and the muscle flap. During removal of the recipient''s heart, care was taken not to injure the left phrenic nerve that was frequently in tight relation with the latissimus dorsi muscle. Heart transplantation was then performed in a routine manner, the donor heart being anastomosed to remnant atria and great vessels. Mean follow-up was 5.5 years (longest 13.5 years). Survival at 10 years was 40% for early heart transplantation (done within 4 months of CMP) and 57% for transplantation performed at 3±2.8 years after CMP. Conclusions: Heart transplantation after CMP is technically feasible. Hospital mortality was higher when urgent transplantation was required. Long-term survival results are similar to those for primary heart transplantation. Cardiomyoplasty, when it fails, does not preclude transplantation, and when indicated, CMP could be considered as a biological bridge to heart transplantation.


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