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      Low Serum Cholesterol Levels Predict High Perioperative Mortality in Patients Supported by a Left-Ventricular Assist System

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          Background: Although the use of a left-ventricular assist system (LVAS) provides circulatory support for end-stage heart failure patients awaiting heart transplantation, this procedure is accompanied by a relatively high perioperative mortality. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify those patients preoperatively which have the highest perioperative mortality. Methods and Results: Forty-five consecutive patients undergoing LVAS implantation were evaluated for preoperative risk factors, including body mass index, hemodynamic data, and blood chemistry studies by multivariate analysis. They were divided into (1) patients who were successfully transplanted (n = 25) and (2) patients who died before transplantation (n = 20). The nonsurvivors were subclassified into patients who died within 14 days after surgery (n = 11) and patients who died after 2 weeks of device implantation (n = 9). Hemodynamic parameters were the same in both groups, but total cholesterol was significantly lower in the nonsurvivors than in the survivors (90 ± 7 vs. 144 ± 8 mg/dl, respectively, p < 0.0001). The sensitivity of predicting perioperative death with a serum cholesterol below 100 mg/dl was 100%, the specificity of predicting survival with a serum cholesterol above 120 mg/dl was 87%. Conclusion: In this small retrospective study, there was a correlation between total cholesterol levels and survival of patients with advanced heart failure on mechanical support. A cholesterol level below 100 mg/dl was accompanied by a high perioperative mortality. In contrast, a cholesterol level above 120 mg/dl was accompanied by a 87% chance of survival. The results suggest a predictive value of cholesterol which is independent of the hemodynamic status.

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          Hypoxia increases production of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor by human mononuclear cells.

          Exposure to hypoxia (PO2 = 9 +/- 1 torr) increased human peripheral blood mononuclear cell production and secretion of interleukin-1 (IL-1)alpha, IL-1 beta, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) percent of control = 190% for IL-1 alpha, p = 0.014; 219% for IL-1 beta, p = 0.014; and 243% for TNF, p = 0.037) following treatment with endotoxin (1 ng/ml). Hypoxia potentiated the increased production of these inflammatory cytokines at subthreshold levels of endotoxin with potentiation increasing at lower O2 concentrations. Hypoxia also increased cytokine production induced by the tumor promoter phorbol myristate acetate, suggesting a generalized biologic response. We conclude that hypoxia increases IL-1 and TNF production and speculate that this mechanism aggravates a variety of pathologic conditions involving endotoxin such as adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiple organ failure, and septic shock.
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            Improved left ventricular function after chronic left ventricular unloading.

            This study assessed the effect of prolonged left ventricular unloading on native ventricular function. We reviewed data from 31 patients (30 men, 1 woman) supported more than 30 days (mean, 137 days; range, 31 to 505 days) with the HeartMate left ventricular assist system. The patients' mean age was 46 years (range, 22 to 64 years); 17 had idiopathic and 14 had ischemic cardiomyopathy. Data (anatomic, physiologic, hemodynamic, histologic, and biochemical) were collected at the time of HeartMate implantation, during support with the device temporarily off, and at the time of device explantation. Routine chest roentgenogram showed improvement in cardiothoracic ratio (0.62 +/- 0.04 to 0.55 +/- 0.03; p < 0.0001). Echocardiography performed with the pump off showed a significant decrease in left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (6.81 +/- 0.87 cm to 5.39 +/- 1.08 cm; p < 0.0005) and a significant improvement in ejection fraction (0.11 +/- 0.05 to 0.22 +/- 0.17; p < 0.02). Cardiac index increased (1.96 +/- 0.52 L.min-1.m-2 to 2.93 +/- 0.73 L.min-1.m-2; p < 0.0001), mean aortic pressure increased (71.40 +/- 10.63 mm Hg to 76.33 +/- 16.84 mm Hg; p = 0.48), pulmonary capillary wedge pressure decreased (24.18 +/- 6.27 mm Hg to 14.48 +/- 3.01 mm Hg; p < 0.0001), and pulmonary vascular resistance decreased (3.34 +/- 2.00 Wood units to 2.51 +/- 0.88 Wood units; p < 0.05). Comparisons of tissue samples taken at the time of implantation and at the time of transplantation showed a marked reduction in myocytolysis. Calcium uptake, calcium-binding rates, and lipid levels normalized in patients studied. Plasma norepinephrine levels decreased to near normal levels. Prospective studies are now indicated to determine whether device removal without transplantation may be beneficial in selected patients.
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              Patient selection for mechanical bridging to transplantation


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 1998
                16 March 1998
                : 89
                : 3
                : 184-188
                a Transplant Service, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital,Texas Heart Institute, and b Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, Tex., USA
                6785 Cardiology 1998;89:184–188
                © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 3, References: 22, Pages: 5
                General Cardiology


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