Choosing the right heart: proper donor selection in cardiac transplantation

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Purpose of review

Orthotopic heart transplantation remains a definitive treatment for advanced heart failure. This review describes, on an individual patient level, how best to select donor hearts.

Recent findings

In selecting hearts, recipient health factors and comorbidities tend to outweigh most donor factors. Expanded donor criteria will allow for transplanting a larger group of patients. More work remains on developing scoring systems, ex-vivo perfusion of the donor heart, and use of donor biomarkers.


Considering the power of the donor heart allows for optimization of donor–recipient matching.

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