Bridging patients to cardiac transplantation
Potential recipients of heart transplants have the most advanced form of congestive heart failure, in which standard therapy fails to maintain clinical stability. In the absence of guidelines derived from evidence obtained in clinical trials, caring for these patients becomes a challenge. A successful approach requires the proper coordination of surgical and nonsurgical strategies, including revascularization and valvular surgery as well as mechanical ventricular support and medical strategies. Intensive medical therapy is the most commonly used approach for prolonged bridging to transplantation. Although carefully individualized regimens are necessary to achieve desired goals, most centers adopt a fairly standardized approach involving vasodilators, diuretics, and inotropic support. Bridging patients with cardiac decompensation to transplantation presents a major therapeutic challenge. Appropriate strategies will maximize patients' chances that the bridge from decompensation to transplantation remains intact. (CHF. 2000) © 2000 by CHF, Inc.
Higginbotham, MB; Russell, SD; Mehra, MR; Ventura, HO
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