Author + information
- Received December 12, 1995
- Revision received March 27, 1996
- Accepted April 9, 1996
- Published online August 1, 1996.
- Barry D. Bertolet, MD, FACC*,
- David A. Eagle, MD,
- Jamie B. Conti, MD, FACC,
- Roger M. Mills Jr., MD, FACC and
- Luiz Belardinelli, MD
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Barry D. Bertolet, Division of Cardiology, Box 100277, J. Hillis Miller Health Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610.
Objectives. We attempted to demonstrate that theophylline, an adenosine receptor antagonist, can reverse bradyarrhythmias after orthotopic heart transplantation.
Background. Sinus node dysfunction, primarily sinus bradycardia, frequently occurs after orthotopic heart transplantation and may lead to permanent pacemaker implantation. Endogenous adenosine has been implicated as a cause of such posttransplantation bradyarrhythmia.
Methods. Twenty-nine transplant recipients (group 1) were given theophylline after bradyarrhythmias developed after transplantation. Data in these patients were compared with those in a control group of 18 patients without bradyarrhythmias (group 2) who were not given theophylline.
Results. The mean heart rate in group 1 increased from 62 ± 7 to 89 ± 10 beats/min after administration of theophylline (p < 0.0001); the mean heart rate in group 2 was 88 ± 12 beats/min. Patients in group 1 required more days of temporary atrial pacing (3.5 ± 1 vs. 1.5 ± 3, p < 0.04) before the administration of theophylline than did patients in group 2. The length of hospital stay after transplantation did not differ significantly between groups 1 and 2 (17 ± 7.5 vs. 20 ± 16 days, p = NS). Age, gender, underlying disease, preoperative use of amiodarone, graft ischemia time or the incidence of moderate to severe rejection were not different between patient groups.
Conclusions. The use of theophylline for posttransplantation bradyarrhythmias increased heart rate and facilitated the withdrawal of chronotropic support. We conclude that theophylline offers effective and specific therapy for heart transplant patients with early bradyarrhythmias, reducing the need for implantation of a permanent pacemaker.
- Received December 12, 1995.
- Revision received March 27, 1996.
- Accepted April 9, 1996.
- American College of Cardiology