Outcomes in cardiac transplant recipients using allografts from older donors versus mortality on the transplant waiting list: Implications for donor selection criteria

Katherine Lietz, Ranjit John, Donna M. Mancini, Niloo M. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives This study investigates the outcomes of cardiac transplantation using older donors. Background Despite high mortality rates on waiting lists, transplanting hearts from older donors remains a relative contraindication. Methods We retrospectively reviewed data on 479 adult heart transplant recipients, 352 status I patients, and 534 status II patients enrolled on a waiting list between 1992 and 1999. The Cox proportional hazards model was used for statistical analysis. Results Of all donors, 20% were 40 to 50 years old and 8% were ≥50 years old. The risk of six-month mortality on the waiting list for patients who were not transplanted (status I: relative risk [RR] 8.5; status II: RR 3.7) significantly outweighed the risk of transplanting patients with a heart from donors >40 years old (status I: RR 1.6; status II: RR 2.1). Recipients of cardiac allografts from donors <40 years old had a one-month mortality rate of 5%, in contrast to 13% and 22% in those receiving allografts from donors 40 to 50 years old and ≥50 years old, respectively. Donor age did not influence long-term survival or frequency of rejections; however, it did correlate with the early presence of transplant-related coronary artery disease (TCAD). By the first annual angiogram, only 17% of recipients with donors <20 years old developed TCAD, in contrast to 26% to 30% and 34% of recipients who received allografts from donors age 20 to 40 years and >40 years, respectively. Conclusions Despite a strong association between older donor age and increased post-operative mortality and TCAD, it is more beneficial in terms of patient survival to receive an allograft from a donor >40 years old than to remain on the waiting list.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1553-1561
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume43
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 5 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CAD
  • CI
  • CVA
  • HLA
  • LVAD
  • RR
  • TCAD
  • UNOS
  • United Network of Organ Sharing
  • cerebrovascular accident
  • confidence interval
  • coronary artery disease
  • human leukocyte antigen
  • left ventricular assist device
  • relative risk
  • transplant-related coronary artery disease

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