Risk factors for death after heart transplantation: Does a single- center experience correlate with multicenter registries?

J. F. McCarthy*, P. M. McCarthy, M. G. Massad, D. J. Cook, N. G. Smedira, V. Kasirajan, M. Goormastic, K. Hoercher, J. B. Young, J. D. Hosenpud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Background. Risk factors for death after heart transplantation (Tx) are frequently documented from multicenter registries. Although this information is helpful, it reflects a whole range of experiences and results, and may not translate to a particular center. This study was performed to (1) evaluate pre-Tx factors affecting mortality in a single-center experience, and (2) compare these factors with risk factors obtained from multicenter registry reports. Methods. Review of our transplant database between January 1984 and December 1995 identified 405 adults who received a primary heart Tx. Multiple factors were analyzed, including demographics, Tx era, cytomegalovirus status, United Network for Organ Sharing status of recipient, presence of pulmonary hypertension, previous cardiac operations, mechanical ventilation or circulatory support, ischemia time, number of rejection episodes, and preoperative flow cytometry crossmatching. Results. One- and 5-year survival rates were 87.8% and 73.4%, respectively (Kaplan-Meier). Contrary to multicenter registry reports, our data indicate that reoperative procedures, left ventricular assist device support, increasing donor and recipient age, and ischemia time up to 4.2 hours are not risk factors for death after Tx. Likewise, mode of donor death is not a risk factor affecting outcome. Significant risk factors for mortality identified by multivariate analysis included early transplant era (1984 to 1989; p = 0.002), female donor (p = 0.042), cytomegalovirus-seropositive donor (p = 0.048), high pulmonary vascular resistance (p = 0.018), and intraaortic balloon pump support (p = 0.03). It also identified a positive B-cell flow cytometry crossmatch (p = 0.015) to be a risk factor with univariate analysis. Conclusions. Our data identify a group of recipients, reportedly at high risk in multicenter registries, who are not at increased risk of death after Tx. This information supports the growing experience with older donors and recipients and with bridged transplants, and has allowed us to expand our donor pool. These prognostic factors at evaluation allow more liberal selection of patients and donors for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1574-1578
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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