Successful Reuse of a Donor Heart

Gabriel Esmailian, Qiudong Chen, Danny Ramzy, Jon A. Kobashigawa, Joanna Chikwe, Fardad Esmailian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At a time when transplantable organs are in a shortage, few cases have noted the reuse of donor hearts in a second recipient in an effort to expand the donor network. Here, we present a case in which an O Rh-positive donor heart was first transplanted into a B Rh-positive recipient and later successfully retransplanted into a second O Rh-positive recipient 10 days after the initial transplant at the same medical center. On postoperative day 1, the first recipient, a 21-year-old man with nonischemic cardiomyopathy, sustained a devastating cerebrovascular accident with progression to brain death. With preserved left ventricle and mildly depressed right ventricle function, the heart was allocated to the second recipient, a 63-year-old male patient with famil-ial restrictive cardiomyopathy. The bicaval technique was used, and the total ischemic time was 100 minutes. His postoperative course was uncomplicated with no evidence of rejection on 3 endomyocardial biopsies. Follow-up transthoracic echocardiogram revealed a left ventricular ejection fraction of 60% to 70%. Seven months posttransplant, the second recipient was doing well with appropriate left and right ventricular func-tion. With careful organ selection, short ischemic time, and proper postoperative care, retransplant of donor hearts may be an option for select patients in need of heart transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere217726
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart transplantation
  • allografts
  • donors
  • graft survival
  • heart failure
  • organ donation


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