Routine cardiac medications may have more side effects in patients with Eisenmenger's syndrome and should be prescribed with great caution. Your doctor also may suggest removing some blood a couple of times a year to reduce the amount of red blood cells, but this should only be done when there are symptoms if your blood count is extremely high. The survival rate for people with Eisenmenger's syndrome at age 25 is 42 percent.
Adult patients with Eisenmenger's syndrome should be seen by a cardiologist specializing in the care of adults with congenital heart disease to monitor for late complications. All patients will need to take antibiotics during subsequent surgeries or dental procedures to protect against endocarditis. Pregnancy and childbirth are extremely hazardous in women who have Eisenmenger's; they should not get pregnant but must choose contraception carefully to avoid blood pressure problems.
It is important to eat a nutritious diet and avoid alcohol and salt. Overexertion and smoking also should be avoided. Surgery that is used to repair the defect can't be used after pulmonary hypertension has developed because the change in blood pressure would further damage the heart. The only other surgical option is heart/lung transplant or lung transplant along with a repair of the defect.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.
Cardiovascular Care and Prevention Center at Mission Bay
535 Mission Bay Blvd. South
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2873
Fax: (415) 353-2528