Background Heart transplantation (HTx) is increasingly utilized as therapy for end-stage cyanotic congenital heart disease. This study investigates the presence and impact of aortopulmonary collaterals (APCs) associated with cyanotic heart disease on the early post-operative course of patients undergoing transplantation. High output cardiac failure due to residual aortopulmonary collaterals can affect outcome following heart transplantation. Methods Seven patients with hemodynamically significant APCs post-transplant were identified among 40 patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease undergoing HTx. The peri- and intra-operative courses of these patients were reviewed. All 7 patients required prolonged inotropic support despite normal ventricular function and no allograft rejection; 5 were ventilator-dependent due to significant pulmonary vascular congestion. Selective angiography demonstrated the presence of significant aortopulmonary collaterals at 7 to 19 days post-transplant. Coil embolization of aortopulmonary collaterals was performed in all patients; a mean of 6 (2 to 16) vessels/patient were embolized. Results After embolization, pulmonary edema resolved and heart size normalized in all patients; inotropic support was weaned within 2 to 10 days in 5 patients. One patient developed transient renal failure secondary to excessive contrast load and another had enterococcal sepsis within 24 hours after the procedure. All patients were asymptomatic from 4 to 10 years of follow-up post-HTx. Conclusions Aortopulmonary collaterals should be considered a cause of early donor heart failure in children following HTx for cyanotic congenital heart disease. Early detection and treatment of aortopulmonary collaterals by coil embolization is necessary to improve the post-transplant course in these complex patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine