MRI complements standard assessment of right ventricular function after lung transplantation

William H. Frist, Christine H. Lorenz, Eloisa S. Walker, James E. Loyd, James R. Stewart, Thomas P. Graham, Daryl P. Pearlstein, Steven P. Key, Walter H. Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background.: Changes in right ventricular mass and ejection fraction after single-lung transplantation for pulmonary hypertension are poorly understood. Methods.: To complement functional data provided by echocardiography, radionuclide ventriculography, and right heart catheterization, magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess right ventricular function in 5 single-lung transplant recipients with preoperative pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular dysfunction (right ventricular ejection fraction, 0.21 ± 0.09). The right and left ventricular mass, ejection fraction, and mass ratio (left ventricular mass/right ventricular mass) were calculated from the magnetic resonance images. Results.: The mean pulmonary artery pressure fell from 72 ± 18 to 21 ± 8 mm Hg after transplantation. At 3 months after transplantation both the left ventricular and right ventricular ejection fractions approached normal values, as shown by both radionuclide ventriculography and magnetic resonance imaging, but the right ventricular mass remained abnormally high with slightly low mass ratios. By 1 year both the left ventricular and right ventricular masses had regressed to normal with near-normal mass ratios. Conclusions.: Right ventricular performance returns to nearly normal early after transplantation, but the right ventricular mass regresses over a more prolonged time. Cine magnetic resonance imaging provides a noninvasive means of assessing changes in right ventricular function and mass after lung transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-271
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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