Purpose: This study was carried out to determine whether chronic alcohol ingestion produces impaired hemodynamic performance while maintaining left ventricular ejection fraction within the normal range prior to transplantation, and depressed cardiac function after heterotopic heart transplantation in rats. Methods: Rats fed 30% alcohol in their drinking water for 12 weeks were compared with rats fed a normal diet. We measured pretransplant left ventricular ejection fraction by echocardiography using Simpson and single plane Dodge formulas in living sedated rats after 10 and 12 weeks of alcohol feeding. Explanted heart function before and after heterotopic heart transplantation was assessed after 12 weeks of alcohol feeding with the Langendorff preparation. Results: Pretransplant left ventricular ejection fraction was not impaired in the group fed an alcohol diet for 12 weeks when compared with the control group. In the pre-transplant group, explanted heart function was significantly impaired in the alcohol group versus the control group. Peak response to 0.1 ml 10-9 M isoproterenol showed an even more pronounced impairment. In both iso- and allografts, explanted heart function at three days post-transplant was significantly impaired in the alcohol group versus the control group. In addition, allografts performed significantly worse than isografts. Conclusions: These results suggest that chronic alcohol feeding in the rat results in a subclinical cardiomyopathy prior to transplantation and that such hearts exhibit functional impairment after transplantation, which is worsened by the presence of acute rejection. Clinical implications: Hearts from donors with a history of chronic alcohol use may be unsuitable for transplantation and should therefore be evaluated carefully prior to transplantation.
|Issue number||4 SUPPL.|
|State||Published - Oct 1996|