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C Boudaa, J M Lalot, J F Perriert, C Voltz, P Strub, O Claudon, G Audibert, I Sandefo, C Meistelman, D Longrois, P M Mertes
Ann Transplant 2000; 5(4): 51-53
Objectives: The diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for evaluation and management of cardiac function in brain-dead patients vary from country to country. The aim of the present study was to describe the results of the evaluation of brain-dead patients as potential cardiac donors in a French teaching hospital that manages the largest number of brain-dead patients in France. Methods: Demographic parameters, the causes of brain death, clinical evolution, hemodynamic parameters, doses of inotropic and/or vasopressive drugs, the results of echocardiographic examination, and several biochemical markers of myocardial cell injury were retrospectively collected. Results: Seventy-one consecutive brain-dead patients admitted to the intensive care unit of the Academic Hospital of Nancy from October 1st, 1998 to September 30, 1999 were analyzed. Twenty-nine patients were considered as potential heart donors: 22 males and 7 females aged 33 :t 3 years (Mean + SEM). The cause of brain death was head trauma in 17cases (59%), cerebrovascular disease in 10 cases (34%), and cerebral anoxia related to cardiac arrest in 2 cases (7%). Eighteen hearts (18/29 or 66%) were harvested and transplanted with a favorable outcome at one month in 17 cases. In I I cases, the heart was not harvested, nine (9/29 or 3 1%) because of myocardial dysfunction upon subsequent echocardiographic examination and 2 because of the lack of matched recipients. Conclusion: Comparison of these results with those of other groups suggests that hormonal substitution with insulin and triiodothyronine in the presence of myocardial dysfunction could be of potential interest to correct myocardial dysfunction and increase the number of donor hearts.