Heart reduction surgery: an analysis of the impact on cardiac function

ML Dickstein, HM Spotnitz, EA Rose and D Burkhoff
J.Thorac.Cardiovasc.Surg. 1997;113:1032-1040

OBJECTIVES:  Reports of improved ejection fraction, coupled with decreased filling pressures, have prompted a number of centers to begin evaluating the efficacy of heart reduction surgeryto ameliorate symptoms of heart failure. However, the impact of this operation on cardiac mechanics is unknown. We applied a multiple compartment elastance model to simulate the effects of excising cardiac mass on heart function.

METHODS:  The left ventricle was divided into two functional compartments to simulate excision of part of the wall. At multiple increments of mass reduction, the resulting end-systolic elastance, ejection fraction, stroke volume, end-diastolic pressure and volume, and diastolic stiffness were determined.

RESULTS:  Changes in systolic function were accompanied by offsetting changes in diastolic function; consequently, overall pump function (the Frank-Starling Relationship) was found to be depressed. The geometric rearrangement associated with this operation leads to a reduction in wall stress for a given level of pressure generation, thus implying an increase in the efficiency with which wall stress is transduced into intraventricular pressure.

CONCLUSIONS:  Overall pump function is depressed in the short run after heart reduction surgery. However, on the basis of theoretic arguments, heart reduction surgery may have long-term beneficial implications. Importantly, this analysis revealed that changes in parameters of ventricular function have different implications during heart reduction surgery than when such changes are observed with inotropism caused by acute pharmacologic therapy.

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