Because of the distortion of alrial morphology that occurs during cardiac allograft transplantation in humans, the beneficial effects of properly sequenced atrial and ventricular activation are unclear in these patients. To evaluate the atrial contribution to ventricular pump performance in heart transplant recipients, arterial pressure and cardiac output during pacing from either chamber were measured in nine patients 10 ± 1 days after transplantation. Systolic, diastolic and mean systemic arterial pressures were significantly higher during atrial pacing compared with ventricular pacing: 143 ± 23 versus 125 ± 20 mm Hg, 73 ± 15 versus 66 ± 14 mm Hg and 94 ± 17 versus 84 ± 16 mm Hg, respectively (p < 0.05 for all). In addition, cardiac output decreased from 5.5 ± 1.4 to 4.6 ± 1.5 liters/min (p < 0.005) for atrial versus ventricular pacing. Thus, there is a significant atrial contribution to cardiac performance in patients after heart transplantation. This may have clinical implications in those patients who later require a permanent pacemaker.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine