Elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and cardiac transplantation

L. J. Addonizio, W. M. Gersonby, R. C. Robbins, R. E. Drusin, C. R. Smith, D. S. Reison, K. Reemtsma, E. A. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Severe elevation of pulmonary vascular resistance has been considered a contraindication to cardiac transplantation. Most centers exclude patients with pulmonary vascular resistance greater than 6 Wood units. Wood units, do not correct for variations in body size and therefore may not be the best measure for use in comparison of patients. We performed a retrospective analysis of 82 cardiac transplant recipients and compared preoperative pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) calculated in two ways to the incidence of right ventricular failure and death. Our data show that the PVR index unit (PVRI) identifies those patients that are at risk for right heart failure better than the Wood unit, which does not correct for body size. Four patients died of right heart failure with resistance less than 6 Wood units, but had PVRI greater than 6 units. High resistance is not an absolute contraindication to cardiac transplantation; 28 of 33 patients operated on with a PVRI greater than 6 survived. The degree of elevation of PVR did not correlate with survival. Ten of 12 patients with a PVRI greater than 9 survived. Testing with nitroprusside at cardiac catheterization was helpful in determining reversibility of pulmonary vascular obstruction. No patients with a PVRI less than 6 developed right heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
Issue number5 II SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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