Preoperative Amiodarone and Primary Graft Dysfunction in Heart Transplantation

Abigail Servais, Scott Lundgren, Stephanie Bowman, Douglas Stoller, Adam Burdorf, Marshall Hyden, Brian Lowes, Ronald Zolty, Don Klepser, Heidi Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Preoperative amiodarone effects on postorthotopic heart transplant (OHT) outcomes remain controversial. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of cumulative pre-OHT amiodarone exposure on severe primary graft dysfunction (PGD). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed adult OHT recipients between August 2012 and June 2018. Primary outcome was severe PGD in patients receiving amiodarone at 3, 6, and 12 months prior to OHT compared with those not receiving amiodarone. Secondary outcomes included intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, early graft failure (EGF), mortality at 3, 6, and 12 months post-OHT, and 30-day incidence of postoperative tachyarrhythmias, bradycardia, permanent pacemaker implantation, and rejection. Results: Incidence of severe PGD was 12.5% in those who received amiodarone compared to 6.8% in those who did not (14 vs 6, P = 0.18). Cumulative preoperative amiodarone significantly increased the odds of severe PGD at 3 months (odds ratio [OR]: 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.001-1.06; P = 0.044) and 6 months (OR: 1.02, 95% CI: 1.003-1.044; P = 0.024) in a multivariate logistic regression. Patients on amiodarone had significantly higher rates of postoperative bradycardia (13.4% vs 4.5%, P = 0.03). Conclusion and Relevance: A trend toward increased PGD was present in patients receiving preoperative amiodarone. This finding combined with the regression showing significantly increased odds of PGD with increasing 3 and 6 month cumulative amiodarone dose is clinically concerning. Escalation of care with pacemaker implantation was required more frequently in patients on pre-OHT amiodarone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • amiodarone
  • heart transplantation
  • primary graft dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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