The objectives of this study were to perform bioelectrical impedance analysis before and after heart transplantation with comparison to healthy subjects. Eight patients (7 men, 1 woman) before (day 0) and after transplantation (day 3, 7, 12, 15, and 180) and 24 healthy controls, matched for sex, age, and body mass were studied. Data collection included bioelectrical impedance analysis (resistance, reactance, and estimates of body water), clinical, and laboratory measurements. Compared with controls, patients had at baseline significantly higher reactance, not significantly different resistance, body weight, total body water, and intra- to extracellular water ratio. After surgery, for reactance, there was an acute decrease followed by a slow, progressive increase up to normal level by day 15. Resistance and body weight did not significantly change; the intra- to extracellular water ratio significantly decreased with stable total body water. Changes in reactance are the main effects induced on bioelectrical impedance by heart transplantation. Acutely, there is a large decrease which likely reflects changes both in water distribution and in cell membrane function. The late changes more likely reflect the shift of body water from the extra- to the intracellular space with stable total body water.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company