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Current Cardiology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-403X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6557

Cerebrovascular Complications After Heart Transplantation

Author(s): Aida Alejaldre, Raquel Delgado-Mederos, Miguel Angel Santos and Joan Marti-Fabregas

Volume 6 , Issue 3 , 2010

Page: [214 - 217] Pages: 4

DOI: 10.2174/157340310791658811

Price: $58


Neurological complications in orthotopic heart transplantation represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality despite successful transplantation. The most frequent perioperative neurological complications are delirium or encephalopathy. In this period cerebrovascular complication ranges between 5-11%. After the perioperative period, the 5- year stroke risk after cardiac transplantation is 4.1%. In a retrospective study conducted with 314 patients who underwent cardiac transplantation, it was found that 20% of cerebrovascular complications occurred within the first two weeks after transplantation, while 80% occurred in the late postoperative phase. Of these, ischemic stroke is the most common subtype. In the perioperative periode, hemodynamic instability, cardiac arrest, extracorporeal circulation over 2 hours, prior history of stroke, and carotid stenosis greater than 50% have been reported to be risk factors for the occurrence of cerebrovascular complications. Perioperative cerebrovascular complications are associated with higher mortality and poor functional outcome at one year follow-up. After the perioperative period, the only factor that has been significantly associated with an increased risk of cerebrovascular complications is a history of prior stroke, either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Other associated factors include unknown atrial fibrillation, septic emboli from endocarditis, cardiac catheterization and perioperative hemodynamic shock. According to the TOAST etiologic classification, the most prevalent etiologic subtype of ischemic stroke is undetermined cause.

Keywords: Neurological complications, transplantation, encephalopathy, cerebrovascular complications, ischemic stroke

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