Although the success of cardiac transplantation has encouraged earlier referral of potential candidates, those with mild symptoms of heart failure are frequently considered "too well" for transplantation. Outcome was investigated for 28 patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy and ejection fraction of 25 percent or less who were denied transplantation due to lack of severe symptoms. One-year survival without transplantation was 46 percent. Low stroke volume and history of ventricular arrhythmias were independent predictors of early mortality. High risk, defined as either stroke volume of 40 ml or less or history of ventricular arrhythmia, identified 13 of 14 patients who did not survive one year and only one of 12 one-year survivors (p less than 0.001). Low stroke volume predicted hemodynamic failure (p less than 0.05) whereas arrhythmic history predicted sudden death (p less than 0.001). Clinical status improved in only six patients, all of whom had symptom duration of seven or less months at initial evaluation (p less than 0.001). Thus, patients referred to transplantation for dilated cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction of 25 percent or less have a poor prognosis even if symptoms are mild. Patients with high hemodynamic risk may require early transplantation, whereas those with high arrhythmia risk may require other aggressive therapy in order to avoid transplantation until symptoms become severe.
View details for Web of Science ID A1987K745100010
View details for PubMedID 3314498