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1/1. Pathologic findings of latissimus dorsi muscle graft in dynamic cardiomyoplasty: clinical implications.

    BACKGROUND: We hypothesize that the integrity of the latissimus dorsi muscle graft used to wrap the heart may affect the clinical outcome of patients undergoing dynamic cardiomyoplasty. methods: By correlating the pathologic findings with their clinical course in five patients who died 1 month to 6 years after dynamic cardiomyoplasty operation, we sought to discern findings that might shed light on the pathophysiology of cardiomyoplasty. RESULTS: Of the two patients who had a limited clinical response, one had an atrophic, edematous latissimus dorsi muscle with fatty infiltration resulting from cardiac cachexia, and the other had insufficient length of latissimus dorsi muscle to cover a large heart. The remaining patients responded well clinically without signs of pump failure and died at various intervals, mostly of arrhythmias. autopsy findings included the following: (1) one patient with ischemic cardiomyopathy as the underlying disease had development of rich vascularity in the interface between the muscle wrap and the epicardium; whereas in four others with idiopathic cardiomyopathy, such evidence of collateralization was far less evident. (2) There was a variation in the skeletal muscle transformation achieved, with the fraction type I fatigue-resistant fiber in the muscle wrap ranging from 60% to 100%, in spite of the identical transformation protocol used. Such variation is believed to be genetically based. (3) In one patient, the skeletal muscle was paced to contract at 30 to 50 times/minute (2:1 ratio) for more than 5 years. Nevertheless, the pathologic specimen of the muscle wrap showed only minimal interstitial fibrosis. (4) Relatively thin muscle wrap around the heart found at autopsy could be atrophy but most likely was related to muscle transformation, which is known to reduce muscle mass and increase capillary density. (5) All skeletal muscle grafts showed geometric conformation to the shape of the epicardium and grossly looked as if they were an additional layer of the ventricular wall. Such conformation may facilitate the modulation of the ventricular remodelling process in the failing heart, as has been described both in clinical and experimental studies. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings are consistent with and support a number of mechanisms proposed for cardiomyoplasty. Thus preservation of latissimus dorsi muscle graft integrity may be important in the success of dynamic cardiomyoplasty.
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keywords = dynamic cardiomyoplasty, cardiomyoplasty
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