Long-term survival (more than 20 years) following heart transplantation
Mastrobuoni S, Dell'aquila AM, Azcarate PM, Rabago G, Herreros J.
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Only a few papers with patients surviving more than 15 years after heart transplantation have been reported. Herein we report the characteristics of patients transplanted between 1984 and 1989 who are long-term survivors (>20 years). Survival after transplant, recipient and donor age and aetiology of heart failure were also compared with patients transplanted in the decades 1990-1999 and 2000-2009.
Our Heart Transplant Program Database and medical records of all cardiac transplants performed in our centre from July 1984 to 1989 were reviewed. Primary endpoint of the study was the long-term survival and secondary end points were the incidence of transplant-related complications over time.
Forty-five transplants were performed in 1984-1989, 41 patients were male, median age was 46 years (IQR: 39-55), median donor age was 24 years (19-29) and mean graft ischemic time was 134±64 minutes. The actuarial survival of this cohort was 77.8%, 64.4%, 48.9%, 35.6% and 24.2% at 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years, respectively. Univariate Cox regression analysis revealed the female gender, the graft ischemic time, the recipient-donor gender mismatch, a diagnosis of diabetes and the number of acute rejection episodes during the first year post-transplant as significant risk factors adversely affecting long-term survival. Cardiac allograft vasculopathy is the main cause of death. The mean recipient and donor age and the graft ischemic time have progressively increased over time but survival has not changed.
The long-term outcome of heart transplantation is noteworthy. The main limiting factor for survival is the allograft vasculopathy. Considering the tremendous advances in the immunosuppressive therapy and in the understanding of CAV pathophisyology, we can hope for even better results in the next years.
CITATION J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2012 Oct;53(5):677-84