Transplantation using hearts from primary pulmonary hypertensive donors for recipients with a high pulmonary vascular resistance

Emma J. Birks, Magdi H. Yacoub, Ani Anyanwu, Rosemary Radley Smith, Nicholas R. Banner, Asghar Khaghani

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18 Scopus citations


Background Transplantation for patients with a high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) carries an increased risk of mortality and right heart failure following heart transplantation and continues to be a major problem. We evaluated the use of hearts from patients who underwent heart and lung transplantation for primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) as part of a domino procedure because these hearts have hypertrophied right ventricles used to increased pulmonary pressures, but could have a compromised left ventricle or irreversible damage of the right ventricle. Methods We reviewed 12 patients with PVR >4 Wood units who underwent orthotopic heart transplantation between 1989 and 1998 using hearts from donors with PPH as part of a domino procedure. Results We studied 10 men and 2 women, mean age 42.9 years. Mean PVR was 5.3 (range, 4-9) Wood units. Mean ischemia time was 85.3 minutes, and mean donor age was 32 years. Actuarial survival was 75% at 1 year and 75% at 5 years. In the early post-operative period, 3 patients had temporary arrhythmias, 2 required permanent pacemaker implantation, 1 had atrial fibrillation, and 1 had ventricular tachycardia that required defibrillator implantation. At a mean follow-up of 7.8 years, 2 patients had developed asymptomatic transplant coronary disease (both at 8.5 years after transplantation), 1 moderate and 1 very mild; the rest had none. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction at latest follow-up was 70.1% (range, 63%-78%). Right ventricular function assessed clinically and by echocardiography was adequate in the short and long term. Conclusions Our results suggest that heart and lung recipients with PPH can provide useful donor hearts to patients with increased PVR and that these hearts function well in the intermediate and long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1344
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


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