Document Type


Publication Date

November 2006


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 82(6):2089-2095, December 2006. The published version is available at; copyright is retained by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, published by Elsevier, Inc. The paper was presented at the Forty-second Annual Meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Chicago, IL, Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, 2006.


Background: Development of tricuspid regurgitation after orthotopic heart transplantation can cause heart failure along with renal and hepatic impairment and portends a poor prognosis. If tricuspid regurgitation causes significant symptoms, tricuspid valve repair or replacement is often required. This study was designed to study the effects of prophylactic tricuspid valve annuloplasty (TVA) during orthotopic heart transplantation on long-term survival, renal function, and amount of tricuspid regurgitation.

Methods: Between April 1997 and March 1998, 60 patients (aged 18 to 70 years; 22 female) randomly received either standard bicaval orthotopic heart transplantation (group STD; n = 30) or bicaval orthotopic heart transplantation with DeVega TVA (group TVA; n = 30). Tricuspid valve annuloplasty was performed on the donor heart before implantation using pledgeted 2-0 polypropylene and sized to an annulus of 29 mm. Echocardiographic measurements, laboratory values, and hemodynamics were obtained prospectively and reviewed by an independent data analyst.

Results: Follow-up of patients as of December 2003 was complete. Although there was a perioperative mortality advantage in group TVA, there was no difference between groups in long-term survival. At the end of the study, however, there was a statistical difference (group STD versus group TVA, p < 0.05) with regard to cardiac mortality (7 of 30 versus 3 of 30), average amount of tricuspid regurgitation (1.5 ± 1.3 versus 0.5 ± 0.4), percentage of patients with 2+ or greater tricuspid regurgitation (34% versus 0%), serum creatinine (2.9 ± 2.0 versus 1.8 ± 0.7), and difference in serum creatinine over baseline (2.0 ± 2.1 versus 0.7 ± 0.8).

Conclusions: Prophylactic DeVega TVA of the donor heart is durable and decreases the incidence of cardiac-related mortality and tricuspid regurgitation after orthotopic heart transplantation. In addition, there is improved protection of renal function. Considering the ease and safety of TVA and its advantages, it should be performed as a routine adjunct to orthotopic heart transplantation.