Cardiac Surgery after Renal Transplantation

Reddy, V. Seenu; Chen, Ashton C.; Johnson, H. Keith; Pierson III, Richard N.; Christian, Karla J.; Drinkwater Jr., Davis C.; Merrill, Walter H.
February 2002
American Surgeon;Feb2002, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p154
Academic Journal
Renal transplantation remains a mainstay of therapy for end-stage renal disease. Cardiac disease has a high prevalence in this patient population. This study reviews the factors and outcomes associated with cardiac surgery in renal transplant recipients. We performed a retrospective review of all patients at our institution with a functioning renal allograft at the time of their cardiac surgical procedure. Between June 1971 and April 2000, 2343 patients underwent renal transplantation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Twenty-six patients with a functioning renal allograft subsequently underwent a cardiac procedure requiring cardiopulmonary bypass. There were 11 women and 15 men. Twenty-four patients underwent coronary bypass, one had a double valve replacement, and one had a combined coronary bypass/valve replacement. The interval from renal transplant to heart surgery ranged between 0.6 and 227 months (mean 79.1). Operative mortality was zero but there were two hospital deaths: one due to multisystem organ failure and one due to pulmonary embolism. Six additional patients died late with only one due to heart disease. Four patients required perioperative dialysis, and one of these went on to require permanent dialysis. Two additional patients returned to dialysis late postoperatively. The requirement for acute perioperative dialysis was predicted by preoperative creatinine, hematocrit, and intraoperative urine output. The overall survival is 69 per cent (18 of 26) with a median follow-up of 38 months. The majority of long-term survivors have minimal cardiac symptoms. Standard cardiac surgery procedures can be performed with relative safety in patients with functioning renal allografts. The incidence of perioperative and late development of renal failure requiring dialysis is low. The long-term survival and symptomatic improvement achieved are favorable and warrant continued performance of cardiac surgery in patients with functioning renal allografts.


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