Intensive care, right ventricular support and lung transplantation in patients with pulmonary hypertension

Marius M Hoeper, Raymond L Benza, Paul Corris, Marc de Perrot, Elie Fadel, Anne M Keogh, Christian Kühn, Laurent Savale, Walter Klepetko
European Respiratory Journal: Official Journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology 2019, 53 (1)
Intensive care of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right-sided heart failure includes treatment of factors causing or contributing to heart failure, careful fluid management, and strategies to reduce ventricular afterload and improve cardiac function. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) should be considered in distinct situations, especially in candidates for lung transplantation (bridge to transplant) or, occasionally, in patients with a reversible cause of right-sided heart failure (bridge to recovery). ECMO should not be used in patients with end-stage disease without a realistic chance for recovery or for transplantation. For patients with refractory disease, lung transplantation remains an important treatment option. Patients should be referred to a transplant centre when they remain in an intermediate- or high-risk category despite receiving optimised pulmonary arterial hypertension therapy. Meticulous peri-operative management including the intra-operative and post-operative use of ECMO effectively prevents graft failure. In experienced centres, the 1-year survival rates after lung transplantation for PH now exceed 90%.


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