Heart transplantation alone has been recognized to be contraindicated when pulmonary hypertension (PH) and elevated pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) are irreversible, irrespective of any medical intervention by the use of inotropic agents or pulmonary vasodilators, because such patients are at an increased risk of post-transplantation right ventricular failure and mortality. Therefore, end-stage heart failure patients with concomitant fixed PH and irreversibly high PVR are considered to be heart-lung transplant candidates. Recently, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy has been reported to normalize PVR through persistent unloading of the left ventricle, even in patients with medically refractory PH. Therefore, LVAD therapy could make such patients suitable for "heart-only" transplants, which contributes to appropriate donor lung allocation for lung-only candidates. We review the literature regarding LVAD use for secondary PH and present a case with end-stage heart failure that could avoid a heart-lung transplant owing to LVAD therapy.
- left ventricular assist device
- lung transplantation
- pulmonary vascular resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology