The influence of acute preoperative pulmonary infarction on the results of heart transplantation

J Nilas Young, J. Yazbeck, G. Esposito, P. Mankad, E. Townsend, M. Yacoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The presence of acute pulmonary infarction is not uncommon in severely ill patients and is considered by some to be a contraindication to heart transplantation. It has been our policy to accept these patients for operation. The purpose of this investigation is to examine the results of this policy in patients receiving immunosuppression with cyclosporine A and azathioprine. Between September 1982 and April 1985, eight patients undergoing heart transplantation demonstrated clinical and radiographic evidence of acute preoperative pulmonary infarction. These patients represented 5.5% of our heart transplantation population during this period (total = 145). The age range in these eight patients was from 22 to 55 years. Congestive cardiomyopathy was present in four patients, and four patients had ischemic cardiomyopathy. All patients were New York Heart Association functional status class IV. Five of the eight patients were on inotropic support, and one patient had associated renal failure. Pulmonary infarcts were located in the right, middle, or lower lung field in seven patients and in the left lower lung field in one patient. All patients were treated perioperatively by intensive physiotherapy and specific antibiotics. In four patients the lesions resolved on medical treatment alone. Three patients developed extensive empyema and required chest drainage with or without decortication. Two of these patients survived with complete resolution of the lung lesions, and one patient died from prolonged renal failure and sepsis. One patient developed a large lung abscess and was successfully treated with a Monaldi procedure. It is concluded that acute preoperative pulmonary infarction increases the morbidity of heart transplantation, but aggressive therapy can result in successful outcomes in the majority (seven of eight in our series) of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-22
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Heart Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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