Gastrointestinal complications in heart transplant patients: MITOS study

Transplant Proc. 2007 Sep;39(7):2397-400. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2007.07.061.


Introduction: The most frequent immunosuppressive treatment complications in solid organ transplant recipients are gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

Materials and methods: An observational, cross-sectional study to evaluate the prevalence and management of GI complications in transplanted patients was conducted via a written questionnaire given to doctors at their practice.

Results: This study included 1788 patients; 181 corresponded to heart transplant recipients. The mean age for the heart transplant patients was 58.7 +/- 11.8 years. The mean time from the transplantation was 5.2 +/- 4.4 years. GI complications were seen in 38.7% of cases. Regarding the clinical management, in 72.9% of cases patients with GI complications received pharmacologic treatment, 86.3% with gastric protectors, 32.8% reduced the dose of some drug, 8.1% interrupted the drug temporarily, and 10.9% discontinued the drug permanently. The drug that was always discontinued was mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and in 85.7% of cases in which the dose of an immunosuppressive drug was reduced, the reduced drug was also MMF.

Conclusions: Almost 40% of heart transplant recipients suffered GI complications which affected daily activities in most cases. The most used strategy to manage these complications was based on a treatment with gastric protectors together with dose reduction and/or partial or definitive MMF discontinuation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Heart Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Heart Transplantation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • Immunosuppressive Agents