Author(s): Srivastava R, Keck BM, Bennett LE, Hosenpud JD
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: It is well established that repeat heart transplantation has a significantly worse outcome when compared with primary (first time) transplantation. Defining the risk factors for mortality within this group has been difficult due to small numbers of patients at individual centers. METHODS: All cardiac retransplants performed in the United States and registered in the Joint International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Thoracic Registry were analyzed for demographics, morbidity posttransplantation, immunosuppression, and risk factors for mortality. RESULTS: The study cohort included 514 patients of which 81\% were male with a mean age of 47+/-12 years. Time from primary transplant to retransplantation ranged from 1 day to 15.5 years and more than 50\% of the patients underwent retransplantation for chronic rejection. More than 60\% of patients were in the intensive care unit at the time of retransplantation and more than 40\% of the patients were reported to be on some form of life support (ventricular assist device, ventilator, and/or inotropic therapy). Survival for the entire retransplant cohort was 65, 59, and 55\% for 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively, but was substantially lower when the intertransplant interval was short. Conversely, when the interval between primary and retransplantation was more than 2 years, 1 year survival postretransplantation approached that of primary transplantation. Additional independent risk factors for mortality for the retransplant cohort included overall cardiac transplant center volume, the use of a ventricular assist device or ventilator, the patient being in the intensive care unit, and recipient age. The four most common causes of death were infection, primary/nonspecific graft failure, chronic rejection (allograft vasculopathy), and acute rejection. CONCLUSIONS: The data confirm that repeat heart transplantation is a higher risk procedure than primary transplantation, especially early after the primary heart transplant.
This article was published in Transplantation
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research