Pre- and Postoperative Evaluation of Patients with End-Stage Heart Failure Undergoing Cardiac Transplant – a Descriptive Study

DOI: 10.2478/jim-2020-0016


Background: Heart transplantation is still the treatment of choice in patients with end-stage heart failure, refractory to medical treatment, in NYHA class III and IV, with dilated cardiomyopathy of various etiologies, including post-myocardial infarction. Objective: The aim of the study was to provide a descriptive analysis of the clinical, laboratory, and imaging parameters of patients undergoing heart transplantation during the pre- and postoperative period, as well as postoperative complications (including infections) and death rates. Material and methods: The variables collected from 53 patients who underwent a heart transplant were: age at heart transplant, gender, diagnosis at hospitalization, comorbidities, pre- and postoperative virology, pre- and postoperative laboratory analyses, pre- and postoperative echocardiography, post-transplant infections, complications, and treatment before and after the surgery. Results: Mean age at the time of transplant was 40.72 ± 14.07 years, and the majority (84.91%) of patients were males. The mean age of the donors was 31.92 ± 10.59 years. A proportion of 60.40% of patients were included in functional class NYHA IV, and 98.1% presented dilative cardiomyopathy of which 49.06% was due to previous myocardial infarction. No significant differences were observed between preand postoperative viral and bacterial serology. Left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly higher in the transplanted heart, and cardiac chamber diameters were significantly smaller after the transplant. Postoperative complications included 7 confirmed infections and 16 deaths, of which 5 had occurred during the surgical procedure. Conclusions: The present study brings important information in regard to the pre- and postoperative evaluation of patients with end-stage heart failure undergoing cardiac transplantation, from a clinical, laboratory, and imaging point of view, as well as in regard to postoperative complications and death.