Early postoperative pulmonary complications after heart transplantation

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Objective The aim of this study was to determine the types, incidence, and risk factors for early postoperative pulmonary complications in heart transplant recipients. Methods We retrospectively collected data from the records of consecutive heart transplantations from January 2003 to December 2013. A total of 83 patients underwent heart transplantation. The data collected for each case were demographic features, duration of mechanical ventilation, respiratory problems that developed during the intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and early postoperative mortality (<30 d). Results Of the 72 patients considered, 52 (72.2%) were male. The overall mean age at the time of transplantation was 32.1 ± 16.6 years. Twenty-five patients (34.7%) developed early postoperative respiratory complications. The most frequent problem was pleural effusion (n = 19; 26.4%), followed by atelectasis (n = 6; 8.3%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (n = 5; 6.9%), pulmonary edema (n = 4; 5.6%), and pneumonia (n = 3; 4.2%). Postoperative duration of mechanical ventilation (44.2 ± 59.2 h vs 123.8 ± 190.8 h; P =.005) and the length of postoperative ICU stay (10.1 ± 5.8 h vs 19.8 ± 28.9 h; P =.03) were longer among patients who had respiratory problems. Postoperative length of stay in the hospital (22.3 ± 12.5 d vs 30.3 ± 38.3 d; P =.75) was similar in the 2 groups. The overall mortality rate was 12.5% (n = 9). The patients who had respiratory problems did not show higher mortality than those who did not have respiratory problems (16.0% vs 10.6%; P =.71). Conclusions Respiratory complications were relatively common in our cohort of heart transplant recipients. However, these complications were mostly self-limiting and did not result in worse mortality.




Camkiran Firat, A., Komurcu, O., Zeyneloglu, P., Turker, M., Sezgin, A., & Pirat, A. (2015). Early postoperative pulmonary complications after heart transplantation. In Transplantation Proceedings (Vol. 47, pp. 1214–1216). Elsevier USA. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.11.058

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