Predictors of 1-year mortality in heart transplant recipients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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A systematic summary of the observational studies informing heart transplant guideline recommendations for selection of candidates and donors has thus far been unavailable. We performed a meta-analysis to better understand the impact of such known risk factors.


We systematically searched and meta-analysed the association between known pretransplant factor and 1-year mortality identified by multivariable regression models. Our review used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation for assessing the quality of assessment. We pooled risk estimates by using random effects models.


Recipient variables including age (HR 1.16 per 10-year increase, 95% CI 1.10–1.22, high quality), congenital aetiology (HR 2.35, 95% CI 1.62 to 3.41, moderate quality), diabetes (HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.62, high quality), creatinine (HR 1.11 per 1 mg/dL increase, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.16, high quality), mechanical ventilation (HR 2.46, 95% CI 1.48 to 4.09, low quality) and short-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS) (HR 2.47, 95% CI 1.04 to 5.87, low quality) were significantly associated with 1-year mortality. Donor age (HR 1.20 per 10-year increase, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.26, high quality) and female donor to male recipient sex mismatch (HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.80, high quality) were significantly associated with 1-year mortality. None of the operative factors proved significant predictors.


High-quality and moderate-quality evidence demonstrates that recipient age, congenital aetiology, creatinine, pulsatile MCS, donor age and female donor to male recipient sex mismatch are associated with 1-year mortality post heart transplant. The results of this study should inform future guideline and predictive model development.

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