Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the medium-term results of right heart pressures, tricuspid valve dysfunction, overall cardiac performance, and survival between the bicaval and standard techniques.
Method: Between 1991 and 1997, 201 heart transplantations were performed in our center. Right heart catheterization was performed up to 12 months after transplantation. Echocardiography was used to assess left ventricular and tricuspid valve function.
Result: The standard technique was used in 105 cases, and the bicaval technique was used in 96 cases. There was no difference in the age, preoperative parameters, pulmonary hemodynamics, or ischemic time between the 2 groups. Right atrial pressure (4.3 +/- 4.0 mm Hg for the bicaval vs 10.9 +/- 4.8 mm Hg for standard technique) and mean pulmonary artery pressure (17.5 +/- 5.3 mm Hg and 22.5 +/- 5.2 mm Hg, respectively) were lower for the bicaval recipients up to 12 months after the operation (P =.001 and. 01, respectively). Left ventricular ejection fraction was higher for the recipients of the bicaval technique up to the most recent measurement (P =.005). The prevalence of moderate or severe tricuspid regurgitation was higher in the recipients of the standard technique up to the most recent measurement (28% vs 7%; P =.02). The actuarial survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 74%, 70%, and 62% for the recipients of the standard technique versus 87%, 82%, and 81% for the recipients of the bicaval technique (P <.03, <.04, and <.02, respectively).
Conclusion: The bicaval technique maintains good left ventricular function, lower incidence and severity of tricuspid valve dysfunction, and improved survival compared with the standard technique.