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1/6. cardiomyoplasty and implantable cardioverter defibrillator: efficacy and safety of concomitant device implantation: sudden death and cardiomyoplasty.

    Sudden death represents a common event in the natural history of patients affected by chronic heart failure. Such an outcome also has been shown to characterize the follow-up of the cardiomyoplasty procedure. We report two cases of patients who had cardiomyoplasty and experienced witnessed episodes of ventricular arrhythmia at variable times after surgery (2 years and 2 months, respectively). In the first case, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) was implanted subsequent to the arrhythmic episode, whereas the second patient had a combined cardiomyoplasty and ICD implantation procedure. In particular, this patient underwent a modified wrapping technique, herein described, because of a large left ventricular dilatation. In both cases, ventricular defibrillation did not affect the correct functioning of the implanted cardiomyostimulator. Our article confirms that ventricular arrhythmia is common in cardiomyoplasty patients. The combined use of a skeletal muscle stimulator and implantable defibrillator may therefore be effective in preventing arrhythmia-related sudden death without any concurrent effect on the correct functioning of the wrapped muscle/heart circuit, with likely benefit on long-term cardiomyoplasty patient survival.
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2/6. cardiomyoplasty does not preclude heart transplantation.

    Stimulated skeletal muscle grafts have been proposed to improve left ventricle function in patients with severe myocardial failure. In 1 particular case reported here, however, the postoperative functional improvement was only transient and disabling heart failure recurred after 9 months in spite of a vigorous latissimus muscle contraction. heart transplantation was proposed to this patient and performed successfully. Technically, the key to heart removal depends on the retrograde dissection of the ventricular cavities, starting from the right atrioventricular groove. The intraoperative observations confirmed the viability of the latissimus dorsi muscle, inefficient on a highly dilated cardiomyopathy. Histopathological examination of the latissimus dorsi muscles showed that the transformation process of the stimulated muscle was good. Thus, severe cardiac dilatation seems to be one of the limitations of cardiomyoplasty. cardiomyoplasty, when it fails, does not preclude heart transplantation. The histochemical studies confirm the electrophysiologic principle of cardiomyoplasty in humans.
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keywords = cardiomyoplasty
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3/6. Latissimus dorsi dynamic cardiomyoplasty: role of combined ICD implantation.

    Latissimus dorsi cardiomyoplasty is a promising surgical therapy in some patients with congestive heart failure. Although the mortality in heart failure patients is attributable primarily to heart failure and ventricular arrhythmias, the mechanism of death after cardiomyoplasty is not well characterized. We describe the clinical course of a patient undergoing cardiomyoplasty and discuss the role of combined use with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. A 39-year-old man with congestive heart failure due to a massive anterior wall myocardial infarction was evaluated for latissimus dorsi cardiomyoplasty. The patient was in NYHA Functional Class III due to heart failure. He did not have any significant exertional or rest angina. During a Naughton stress test, the patient could exercise for 10 minutes, achieving 4 METS. Pulmonary function study showed a peak V O2 of 22.1 mL/min per kg. radionuclide angiography demonstrated that the anterior wall was akinetic with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 22%. Cardiac hemodynamic studies suggested moderate pulmonary hypertension, elevated wedge pressure, and suboptimal response to exercise. A Holter recording showed frequent ventricular extrasystoles. cardiomyoplasty was preferred to heart transplantation because the patient did not have end-stage heart failure. Postoperatively, the patient required low doses of dopamine. He developed recurrent, sustained, and hemodynamically significant episodes of ventricular tachycardia. He was treated with a combination of amiodarone and procainamide. He died 2 days postoperatively with ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular arrhythmias are a major cause of death in patients with heart failure. Latissimus dorsi cardiomyoplasty appears to be a promising but unproven therapy in such patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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4/6. Binocular blindness following dynamic cardiomyoplasty.

    A 40-year-old man with viral cardiomyopathy underwent uncomplicated dynamic cardiomyoplasty. On the third postoperative day, he was rescued from an 8-hour period of severe cardiogenic shock. Eleven days postoperatively, he was withdrawn and uncooperative, preferring to be left alone. He then complained of total blindness, which persisted to his sudden death on postoperative day 26. Clinical examination revealed no neurological abnormality except for signs consistent with a diagnosis of ischemic optic neuropathy. The optic nerve in the scleral canal is especially vulnerable to hypoperfusion. blindness has been reported following severe hemorrhage, bilateral neck dissection, and has an incidence of 1 per 1100 cases following cardiopulmonary bypass. anemia and hypotension may be consistent risk factors predisposing patients to this catastrophic complication.
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keywords = cardiomyoplasty
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5/6. 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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6/6. Dynamic aortomyoplasty: clinical experience.

    Dynamic aortomyoplasty has been the subject of experimentation for the treatment of congestive heart failure during the last few years. This method consists of diastolic counterpulsation of the ascending aorta through the stimulation of the latissimus dorsi wrapped around it. This report describes the results of aortomyoplasty in a patient with dilated cardiomyopathy resulting from Chagas' disease and contraindications for heart transplantation or cardiomyoplasty.
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