Hedinger Syndrome—Lessons Learnt : A Single-Center Experience

Background: Hedinger syndrome (HS) or carcinoid heart disease (CD) is a rare and challenging manifestation of malignant neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) involving the heart. We aimed to report our experience with surgical strategies and midterm results in HS patients.

Methods: Eleven patients (58 ± 11 (range 41 to 79 years); 5 females) with HS who underwent cardiac surgery in our department between 07/2005 and 05/2023 were analysed.

Results: All patients showed a New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III–IV and in all the tricuspid valve (TV) was involved. Four patients received a TV replacement, and three TV reconstruction. Recently, to preserve the geometry and function of the compromised right ventricle (RV), we have applied the TV “bio-prosthesis in native-valve” implantation technique with the preservation of the valve apparatus (tricuspid valve implantation: TVI) in four cases. Concomitant procedures included pulmonary valve replacement in four, pulmonary implantation in one, and aortic valve replacement in three cases. To treat RV failure, we adapted a combined TandemHeart®-CytoSorb® haemoperfusion strategy in Patient #10 and venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A ECMO) support avoidance, after experiencing an ECMO-induced carcinoid-storm-related death in Patient #8. Mortality at 30 days was 18% (2/11). The median follow up was 2 ± 2.1 years (range 1 month to 6 years) with an overall mortality during the follow-up period of 72.7% (8/11).

Conclusions: HS surgery, despite being a high-risk procedure, can efficiently prolong survival, and represents a safe and feasible procedure. However, patient selection seems to be crucial. Further follow up and larger cohorts are needed.


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