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Transplant Proc. 2015 Nov;47(9):2732-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2015.07.040.

Left Ventricular Dysfunction After Lung Transplantation for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Texas-Southwestern, Dallas, Texas. Electronic address:
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Texas-Southwestern, Dallas, Texas.



Lung transplantation (LT) is the final treatment option for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Perioperative challenges after LT are unique and commonly include excessive bleeding, arrhythmias, and primary graft dysfunction. Transient left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) is a known postoperative complication, but not fully explored. We describe our experiences at a single institution.


We reviewed our database for patients with PAH who underwent LT from July 2008 to July 2012. The data were analyzed for preoperative inotrope use, intravenous prostacyclin, cardiac catheterization, and imaging. Also measured were perioperative ischemic time, bypass time, primary graft dysfunction, ventilator days, length of stay, and mortality. LVD is defined as acute cardiopulmonary compromise (acute worsening of hypoxia with new bilateral infiltrates on imaging) with a drop in LV systolic function of 15% from baseline. We compared data between patients with LVD and without LVD.


Sixteen patients met the criteria, the majority of patients (10) with World Health Organization (WHO) group 1 PAH. Thirteen received intravenous prostacyclin therapy, and 6 required inotropes before surgery. Five patients (31%) developed LVD after transplantation. Average time to onset of LVD was 4.2 days. Preoperative vasopressors were required in 60% of those developing LVD. Patients with LVD had lower right and left ventricular ejection fraction with higher left ventricular end diastolic volume before surgery. All patients recovered from LVD within 4 months after LT.


LVD is a phenomenon observed mostly in patients with WHO group 1 PAH receiving LT. Prompt recognition and treatment of this condition reduced morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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