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Transplantation. 2001 Jul 27;72(2):277-83.

Pretransplant cachexia and morbid obesity are predictors of increased mortality after heart transplantation.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Extremes in body weight are a relative contraindication to cardiac transplantation.

METHODS:

We retrospectively reviewed 474 consecutive adult patients (377 male, 97 female, mean age 50.3+/-12.2 years), who received 444 primary and 30 heart retransplants between January of 1992 and January of 1999. Of these, 68 cachectic (body mass index [BMI]<20 kg/m2), 113 overweight (BMI=>27-30 kg/m2), and 55 morbidly obese (BMI>30 kg/m2) patients were compared with 238 normal-weight recipients (BMI=20-27 kg/m2). We evaluated the influence of pretransplant BMI on morbidity and mortality after cardiac transplantation. Kaplan-Meier survival distribution and Cox proportional hazards model were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS:

Morbidly obese as well as cachectic recipients demonstrated nearly twice the 5-year mortality of normal-weight or overweight recipients (53% vs. 27%, respectively, P=0.001). An increase in mortality was seen at 30 days for morbidly obese and cachectic recipients (12.7% and 17.7%, respectively) versus a 30-day mortality rate of 7.6% in normal-weight recipients. Morbidly obese recipients experienced a shorter time to high-grade acute rejection (P=0.004) as well as an increased annual high-grade rejection frequency when compared with normal-weight recipients (P=0.001). By multivariable analysis, the incidence of transplant-related coronary artery disease (TCAD) was not increased in morbidly obese patients but cachectic patients had a significantly lower incidence of TCAD (P=0.05). Cachectic patients receiving oversized donor hearts had a significantly higher postoperative mortality (P=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

The risks of cardiac transplantation are increased in both morbidly obese and cachectic patients compared with normal-weight recipients. However, the results of cardiac transplantation in overweight patients is comparable to that in normal-weight patients. Recipient size should be kept in mind while selecting patients and the use of oversized donors in cachectic recipients should be avoided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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