Neuromuscular Diseases After Cardiac Transplantation

Farrah J. Mateen, Diederik van de Beek, Walter K. Kremers, Richard C. Daly, Brooks S. Edwards, Christopher G.A. McGregor, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiac transplantation is a therapeutic option in end-stage heart failure. Peripheral nervous system (PNS) disease is known to occur in cardiac transplant recipients but has not been fully characterized. Methods: This retrospective cohort review reports the PNS-related concerns of 313 cardiac transplant recipients (28% women, 8% children) over an 18-year period at a single institution. Results: Thirty percent of patients (95 of 313) reported a PNS-related concern in the post-transplant period, but only 5% had a concern in the first 6 weeks after transplant. The relative frequency of PNS-related complaints was as follows: polyneuropathy, 33%; muscle disease, 26%; mononeuropathy, 17%; radiculopathy, 13%; small-fiber polyneuropathy, 4%; plexopathy, 3%; and other (e.g., herpes zoster), 4%. Conclusions: Etiology of these concerns can be divided into four broad categories: (1) immediate post-operative complications (e.g., brachial plexus stretch injury); (2) concerns related to the underlying disease prompting transplantation (e.g., polyneuropathy secondary to amyloidosis); (3) concerns related to necessary medications (e.g., steroid-associated myopathy); and (4) concerns reflective of aging in a post-transplant population with enhanced survival (e.g., degenerative joint disease-related radiculopathy).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-230
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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