Bosentan improved persistent pulmonary hypertension in a case after implantation of a left ventricular assist device
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) unresponsive to pharmacological intervention is considered a contraindication for orthotopic heart transplantation (OHTX) due to risk of postoperative right-heart failure. In this prospective study, we describe our experience with a treatment strategy of improving severe PH in heart transplant candidates by means of ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation and subsequent OHTX. In 11 heart transplantation candidates with severe PH unresponsive to pharmacological intervention we implanted VAD with the aim of achieving PH to values acceptable for OHTX. In all patients we observed significant drop in pulmonary pressures, PVR and TPG (p < 0.001 for all) 3 months after VAD implantation to values sufficient to allow OHTX. Seven patients underwent transplantation (mean duration of support 216 days) while none of patients suffered right-side heart failure in postoperative period. Two patients died after transplantation and five patients are living in very good condition with a mean duration of 286 days after OHTX. In our opinion, severe PH is not a contraindication for orthotopic heart transplantation any more.