The contribution of the donor heart to total circulatory performance after heterotopic heart transplantation has been difficult to assess. First-pass nuclear angiocardiography and directional Doppler echocardiography were used to examine separately left and right ventricular function of the donor heart after heterotopic transplantation. A comparison was made between two patients, one with a low initial pulmonary vascular resistance and one with a high, relatively fixed pulmonary vascular resistance. In both cases, currently available noninvasive techniques allowed confirmation of the expectation that the donor left ventricle can function effectively as a left ventricular bypass. In neither case was recovery of the native heart demonstrated. The contribution of the donor right ventricle to total right ventricular output appeared to be dependent on the condition of the donor heart and on the pulmonary vascular resistance. In situations with a high pulmonary vascular resistance and end-stage right ventricular failure, it was concluded that the donor heart may not at first constitute an effective assist for the native right ventricle. Native right ventricular failure may then become a major factor influencing survival after heterotopic heart transplantation.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988L686700010
View details for PubMedID 3275840