Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Psychiatric aspects of heart transplantation: preoperative evaluation and postoperative sequelae.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 01 February 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:311
  1. F M Mai,
  2. F N McKenzie,
  3. W J Kostuk


    The contribution of a liaison psychiatrist to a cardiac transplant programme is described. Ninety one patients were referred to the transplant unit for assessment over four years, and of these, 86 were assessed by the psychiatrist. A high prevalence of preoperative anxiety and depression was found. Thirty four transplants were performed on 33 patients during the study and 22 patients survived. Six patients developed transient delirious episodes during the first 10 postoperative days, three showed symptoms of considerable anxiety, and three developed social and behavioural problems during the convalescent period. Subjects with higher scores on the somatic scale of the general health questionnaire showed increased postoperative mortality. In conclusion, the liaison psychiatrist is useful in evaluating and managing heart transplant patients before and after operation.