Fixed pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a contraindication for heart transplantation (HTx). Several studies showed that use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in patients with fixed PH who were initially deemed ineligible for HTx effectively decreased pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), thus permitting HTx. We recently encountered a candidate for HTx who had severe PH with extremely high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). A 27-year-old female who had been diagnosed with dilated-phase hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and who was approved for HTx at age 25 was referred to our institute because of severe fatigability with moderate dyspnea even at rest due to severe bilateral heart failure. Despite continuous inotrope infusion, the patient's symptoms were not relieved. Right heart catheterization (RHC) disclosed a PAP of 62/40 mmHg with severely reduced cardiac output (1.8 l/min). A PVR of 15.9 Wood units suggested progressive worsening of left ventricular function with almost irreversible remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature, and the patient was thought to be contraindicated for HTx. Following 3 weeks of aggressive medical treatment, repeat RHC demonstrated PVR lowering to 8.16 Wood units. This suggested it was likely that PVR could be reversed, and the patient underwent LVAD implantation. RHC performed after LVAD implantation showed a fall in PVR from the initial, extremely high measurement of 15.9 Wood units to 3.4 Wood units at 2 months postoperatively, and to 2.2 Wood units at 1 year. The patient is currently awaiting HTx with favorable LVAD support.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine