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Cardiovasc Surg. 2000 Jan;8(1):1-9.

Postoperative acute refractory right ventricular failure: incidence, pathogenesis, management and prognosis.

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1
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Abstract

Isolated acute refractory right ventricular failure is extremely uncommon. There are greater prospects of seeing a right dominant biventricular failure, as the two ventricular chambers are contiguous. The overall clinical spectrum is determined by the relative ischemic involvement of the right or left ventricle. The postoperative acute refractory right ventricular failure that develops after cardiotomy, heart transplant, or during a left ventricular assist device support, may have somewhat dissimilar elements of origin, but the resultant clinical picture and the management are essentially similar. In this collective review, the authors have summarized the incidence, pathogenesis, management and prognosis of postoperative acute refractory right ventricular failure, in adult cardiac surgical practice. The incidence of post-cardiotomy acute refractory right ventricular failure ranges from 0.04 to 0.1%. Acute refractory right ventricular failure has also been reported in 2-3% patients after a heart transplant and in almost 20-30% patients who receive a left ventricular assist device support. The main contributor to this problem is a disproportionate ischemic involvement of the right ventricle. Other pertinent contributors to this problem are pulmonary hypertension and an altered interventricular balance. The latter component is predominant in recipients of a left ventricular assist device support. Postoperative acute refractory right ventricular failure has been successfully managed with conventional pulmonary vasodilators, mechanical support with a pulmonary artery balloon pump, a right ventricular assist device, or cavopulmonary diversion. Unfortunately, the reported initial salvage rate is only 25-30%. This problem is often underestimated. Support measures are often started late or terminated prematurely. These factors have contributed to a poor initial salvage rate in this group of patients.

PMID:
10661697
DOI:
10.1016/s0967-2109(99)00089-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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