EXTENDED DONOR CRITERIA: Hemodynamic Follow-up of Heart Transplant Recipients Receiving a Cardiac Allograft from Donors ≥60 Years of Age1

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Heart transplantation (HT) has become a therapeutic option for patients suffering from endstage heart failure. The increasing demand for cardiac allografts has led to a shift toward extended donor criteria. In a retrospective analysis of 859 HT recipients, we report on the hemodynamic outcome of 19 HT patients who received cardiac allografts from donors ≥60 years of age.


From March 1989 to December 1997, we performed 883 orthotopic HT in 74 children and 809 adults at our transplant center. Within this period, 19 patients (17 women and 2 men) received cardiac allografts from donors ≥60 years of age. Recipient age ranged from 57 to 78 years (mean, 65±5 years).


HT could be performed successfully in 19 cases. The early mortality rate was 16% (n=3). The late mortality rate was 37% (n=7). All long-term survivors are stable at New York Heart Association classification II (New York Heart Association Class II = resting hemodynamics: cardiac output normal; left ventricular end diastolic filling pressure elevated; clinically not compromised during mild to moderate workout). Although only 19 patients were retrospectively evaluated, there was a statistically significant (P<0.05) difference in survival among patients who received organs from male (11 vs. 8†) compared with female (8 vs. 2†) (†=death) donors.


In our experience, it is possible to increase the cardiac donor pool by accepting allografts from donors, preferably female, ≥60 years of age in selected cases without a coronary angiogram, if hemodynamic parameters are in a normal range on mild-to-moderate inotropic support. We do not recommend cardiac allografts from donors ≥60 if there are signs of coronary insufficiency in the electrocardiogram, if left ventricle filling pressures are above normal on mild-to-moderate inotropic support and optimum hemodynamic management, or if there are signs of segmental dysfunction or mitral insufficiency >I in the echocardiogram.

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