Standard criteria for an acceptable donor heart are restricting heart transplantation

Valluvan Jeevanandam, Satoshi Furukawa, Thomas W. Prendergast, Barbara A. Todd, Howard J. Eisen, James B. McClurken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Background. The lack of satisfactory donor organs limits heart transplantation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the criteria for suitability of donors may be safely expanded. Methods. One hundred ninety-six heart transplantations were performed on 192 patients at our institution from January 1992 to 1995 and were divided into two groups. Group A donors (n = 113) conformed to the standard criteria. Group B donors (n = 83) deviated by at least one factor and consisted of the following: 16 hearts from donors greater than 50 years of age, 33 with myocardial dysfunction (echocardiographic ejection fraction = 0.35 ± 0.10, dopamine level exceeding 20 μg · kg-1 · min-1, and resuscitation with triiodothyronine), 33 undersized donors with donor to recipient weight ratios of 0.45 ± 0.04, 48 with extended ischemic times of 297.4 ± 53.6 minutes, 25 with positive blood cultures, 16 with positive hepatitis C antibody titers, and 7 with conduction abnormalities (Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, prolonged QT interval, bifascicular block). Results. Thirty-day mortality was 6.2% (7/113) in group A and 6.0% (5/83) in group B. Mortality in group A was attributed to 3 patients with myocardial dysfunction, 2 with infection, 1 with acute rejection, and 1 with pancreatitis; group B had 2 with myocardial dysfunction, 1 with infection, 1 with aspiration, and 1 with bowel infarction. At 12 months, survival and hemodynamic indices were similar between the groups. Of the 16 recipients with hepatitis C-positive hearts, 5 have become hepatitis C positive with mild hepatitis (follow up, 6 to 30 months). Conclusions. Expanding the criteria for suitability of donor hearts dramatically increases the number of transplantations without compromising recipient outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1268-1275
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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