Cardiac retransplantation: an ethical dilemma

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The evolution of scientific advancements that paved the way for clinical cardiac transplantation spans the era of the 20th century, heart transplantation has revolutionized therapy for end-stage heart failure. Demand far exceeds supply, resulting in a long waiting period, and an increasing number of deaths while on a waiting list. The shortage of donors poses dilemmas for allocation of organs and managing the waiting list.

Recent findings

The disparity between the demand and supply for donor hearts makes cardiac retransplantation an ethical issue with some patients being allowed a second transplant while some patients are dying on the waiting list before receiving their first transplant, especially with overall sub-optimal outcomes compared with primary transplantation.

Summary

The cardiac transplant community is mandated to closely monitor the results of cardiac retransplantation to identify the appropriate candidate who should receive a retransplantation.

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