Heart Transplantation Survival Outcomes of HIV Positive and Negative Recipients

Julie W. Doberne*, Oliver K. Jawitz, Vignesh Raman, Benjamin S. Bryner, Jacob N. Schroder, Carmelo A. Milano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: In the era of antiretroviral therapy, HIV-positive patients have reduced mortality from HIV infection and increased morbidity from end-stage heart failure. The number of HIV-positive heart transplantation recipients remains scant. Long-term survival has not been rigorously studied. We compared survival outcomes of heart transplantation in HIV-positive recipients with those of HIV-negative recipients. Methods: Clinical data from all adult heart transplantations were extracted from the United Network for Organ Sharing dataset. The impact of recipient HIV status was analyzed with Cox proportional hazards modeling, 1:3 propensity score matching, and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Results: Seventy-five HIV-positive recipients and 29,848 HIV-negative recipients were identified. Race distributions differed between the recipient groups, with black patients comprising a larger proportion of the HIV-positive recipient group (46.7% vs 20.9%, P < .001). The mean year of transplant was significantly later in the HIV-positive recipient group. The rate of acute rejection in the HIV-positive group was higher than in the HIV-negative group (38.7% vs 17.7%, P < .001), as was rate of antirejection treatment administration such as intravenous immunoglobulin or plasmapheresis (26.7% vs 10.4%, P < .001). There was no difference in 30-day, 1-year, and 5-year survival of HIV-positive recipients vs HIV-negative recipients. Recipient HIV infection was not a significant covariate in predicting survival in a Cox proportional hazards model. Conclusions: Short-term and moderate-term survival after heart transplantation is similar for HIV-positive recipients and HIV-negative recipients, although data are very limited. This finding suggests that HIV-positive recipients should not be excluded from transplant candidacy solely based on HIV serostatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1471
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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