Clinical and ethical challenges in heart transplantation from donation after circulatory determined death donors

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Purpose of review

The aim of this study was to describe the development of a clinical programme of heart transplantation from nonheart beating (or donation after circulatory determined death, DCD) donors. DCD is an established practice in abdominal and lung transplantation. The opportunity for sufferers of advanced heart failure provided by DCD heart transplantation is described.

Recent findings

Work shows that the arrested DCD heart is viable and has a 30-min tolerance to anoxia at normal body temperature making transplantation possible.


The demonstration of the possibility of DCD heart transplantation and its early clinical success is described.

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