Gastrointestinal complications after orthotopic cardiac transplantation

S. Sharma, V. Reddy, G. Ott, B. Sheppard, R. Ratkovec, R. Hershberger, D. Norman, J. Hosenpud, A. Cobanoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective and methods. A retrospective chart review was performed on all patients undergoing orthotopic cardiac allograft transplant at Oregon Health Sciences University. Our purpose was to evaluate the incidence of gastrointestinal complications in these patients, and to assess the effect of immunosuppression. Results. From December, 1985, to June, 1994, 240 recipients underwent 250 orthotopic cardiac allograft transplants at Oregon Health Sciences University with a 30 day mortality of 15 patients (6.3 ± 3.0%). Of the 225 operative survivors, the follow-up ranges from 1.0 month to 8.8 years with a mean of 39.9 ± 1.9 months. In our population of late survivors, 21 recipients (9.3%) have had gastrointestinal complications (GIC). Hepatobiliary (29%), peptic ulcer (14%), and pancreatic (14%) complications were the most prevalent. Surgical intervention was required in 19 patients (90%). Twelve procedures (63%) were either emergently or urgently performed, and seven procedures (37%) carried out electively. Operative mortality was 33% in those patients with an emergent or urgent intervention. There was no operative mortality among those who had an elective procedure. Conclusion. Maintenance prednisone dose was higher in patients with GIC than in those patients without GIC, 16.1 ± 2.5 mg versus 7.3 ± 0.2 mg (P = 0.001), respectively. However, immunosuppression therapy for rejection episodes (i.e., Solumedrol megapulse or OKT3 therapy) was not related to an increased incidence of GIC. We present a review of our 21 cardiac transplant recipients to emphasize the potential for severe GIC and their corresponding perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-620
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1996


  • Complications
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Heart transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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