Author(s): Zuckermann A, Barten MJ
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Abstract Surgical wound complications are more frequent in patients undergoing heart transplantation than in other heart surgery patients. This is probably attributed to the presence of additional risk factors in these patients, such as immunosuppression, mechanical support through assist devices and generally poor health. Analyses of wound infections in heart transplantation are based on smaller patient population than those for general heart surgery, and the reported incidences vary largely. The identification of specific risk factors in heart transplant recipients to date is mainly based on retrospective case-control studies in small patient cohorts, the results are controversial, and the comparability of data is limited because of the lack of application of consistent definitions. The impact of immunosuppression and especially immunosuppression with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors on the development of surgical wound complications has been widely discussed following reports of increased occurrence with sirolimus. However, nonheart-transplant specific risk factors should also be considered to develop risk profiles and treatment algorithms for individual patients. Data on surgical wound complications in general heart surgery patients and in heart transplant recipients are compared, the impact of modern immunosuppression reviewed, and areas for further investigation discussed. © 2011 The Authors. Transplant International © 2011 European Society for Organ Transplantation.
This article was published in Transpl Int
and referenced in Advanced Practices in Nursing