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Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery

Print version ISSN 0102-7638On-line version ISSN 1678-9741


MOREIRA, Luiz Felipe P. et al. Clinical perspectives of patients with Chagas cardiomyopathy listed as high priority for heart transplantation. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc [online]. 2005, vol.20, n.3, pp.261-269. ISSN 0102-7638.

INTRODUCTION: Heart failure is responsible for high mortality rates of patients on heart transplantation waiting lists. In Chagas cardiomyopathy, the presence of biventricular dysfunction increases the severity of this situation. METHOD: One hundred and forty-one patients suffering from cardiogenic shock, listed as high priority for heart transplantation, were studied. Forty-six patients presented with Chagas cardiomyopathy and 95 with other cardiomyopathies. Heart failure was treated using intravenous inotropic drugs and intra-aortic balloon pump implantation. Five patients with Chagas disease underwent paracorporeal left ventricular assist device implantation. RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 2.8 months, 58 (41.1%) of the 141 patients were transplanted, while 73 (53.7%) died and 10 were removed from the waiting list. The mortality rates in chagasic and non-chagasic patients were 45.6% and 54.7%, respectively. The mean expected survival of patients with Chagas disease, who did not undergo heart transplantation, was only 1.5 months, with these patients presenting a relative risk for death of 1.6 compared to patients with other heart diseases (p<0.05). The five chagasic patients submitted to left ventricular assist device implantation were maintained on support for a mean of 22 days, with two of them undergoing transplantation, two died due to multiple organ failure and one remains on circulatory support. None of these patients presented right ventricular dysfunction and there were no device related complications. CONCLUSION: The evolution of heart failure seems to be rapid in patients with Chagas cardiomyopathy. Therefore, an early indication of mechanical circulatory support is important as a bridge to heart transplantation in these patients.

Keywords : Chagas cardiomyopathy; Shock [cardiogenic]; Heart transplantation; Heart assist devices.

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