Background: The optimal therapy for end-stage Eisenmenger syndrome (ES) is unknown. We analyzed the United Network for Organ Sharing/International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Joint Thoracic Registry to determine predictors of survival.
Methods: Univariate analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Groups were compared using the log-rank test. Multivariate analysis was performed using a proportional hazards model.
Results: There were 605 transplants performed between 1988 and 1998. The causes of ES included atrial septal defect (ASD) in 171, ventricular septal defect (VSD) in 164, multiple congenital anomalies (MCA) in 68 and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in 32. Procedures included 430 heart-lung (HLT), 106 bilateral lung, and 69 single lung transplants (LT). Survival after HLT was better than after LT on univariate analysis (p = 0.002). For HLT, survival at 30 days and 1 year was 80.7% and 70.1% compared with 68% and 55.2% for LT. Diagnosis was also a significant predictor of survival (p = 0.011), being best for VSD and MCA (1-year survival 71.4% and 77.6%). There was a highly significant benefit of HLT over LT for VSD patients (p = 0.0001). Diagnosis, the combination of diagnosis and procedure, recipient age, recipient gender, donor age, ischemic time and recipient status were significant in a multivariate model. Multivariate analysis confirmed the superior prognosis of patients with VSD or MCA (p = 0.007 and p = 0.022, respectively) and suggested that the adverse effect of LT was predominately in patients with VSD (risk ratio 1.817, p = 0.035).
Conclusions: This analysis suggests that ES recipients are not a homogeneous group. Patients with VSD and MCA have the best prognosis. HLT appears to offer a survival benefit for patients with ES secondary to VSD and should be re-considered as the operation of choice.