Primary graft dysfunction after heart transplantation: Incidence, trends, and associated risk factors

Alina Nicoara*, David Ruffin, Mary Cooter, Chetan B. Patel, Annemarie Thompson, Jacob N. Schroder, Mani A. Daneshmand, Adrian F. Hernandez, Joseph G. Rogers, Mihai V. Podgoreanu, Madhav Swaminathan, Adam Blaine Kretzer, Mark Stafford-Smith, Carmelo A. Milano, Raquel R. Bartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Changes in heart transplantation (HT) donor and recipient demographics may influence the incidence of primary graft dysfunction (PGD). We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate PGD incidence, trends, and associated risk factors by analyzing consecutive adult patients who underwent HT between January 2009 and December 2014 at our institution. Patients were categorized as having PGD using the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)–defined criteria. Variables, including clinical and demographic characteristics of donors and recipients, were selected to assess their independent association with PGD. A time-trend analysis was performed over the study period. Three-hundred seventeen patients met inclusion criteria. Left ventricular PGD, right ventricular PGD, or both, were observed in 99 patients (31%). Risk factors independently associated with PGD included ischemic time, recipient African American race, and recipient amiodarone treatment. Over the study period, there was no change in the PGD incidence; however, there was an increase in the recipient pretransplantation use of amiodarone. The rate of 30-day mortality was significantly elevated in those with PGD versus those without PGD (6.06% vs 0.92%, P =.01). Despite recent advancements, incidence of PGD remains high. Understanding associated risk factors may allow for implementation of targeted therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1461-1470
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • clinical research/practice
  • heart (allograft) function/dysfunction
  • heart failure/injury
  • heart transplantation/cardiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy


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