Heart transplants – assessment of dental procedures
- Cite this article as:
- Meyer, U., Weingart, D., Deng, M. et al. Clinical Oral Investigations (1999) 3: 79. doi:10.1007/s007840050082
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The object of this study was to evaluate the effects of dental foci on survival rates and rejection episodes in heart transplant recipients. Therefore, in a retrospective longitudinal study we studied 74 heart transplant recipients at the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery and Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Münster. Study patients were divided into groups: those in which dental foci had been verified (n=31) and those without dental foci (n=43). Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test, Kaplan-Meier life table analysis, and the log-rank test. Before heart transplantation, patients were screened clinically and radiographically to determine the extent of dental foci. Postoperatively, patients were evaluated dentally and medically to identify the impact of dental foci on the incidence of systemic and oral infections, frequency and severity of rejection episodes, mortality, and complications arising during dental treatment. By comparing the mortality, infection and rejection rates in the various groups no statistically significant differences (P>0.05) were found between patients. Despite immunosuppression, extended inflammatory processes such as abscess formation or viral stomatitis were not found in the oral cavity. We therefore suggest that patients suffering from the symptoms of severe heart failure need not be subjected to rigorous preoperative dental treatment.