Cardiac allografts from high-risk donors: Excellent clinical results

Gary Y. Ott, Ray E. Herschberger, Ranae R. Ratkovec, Douglas Norman, Jeffrey D. Hosenpud, Adnan Cobanoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Rising waiting list mortality and increasing demand for donor organs have led to extension of traditionally accepted criteria for evaluation of cardiac grafts. From December 1985 to June 1992, 188 cardiac grafts were orthotopically transplanted into 178 recipients. Of these grafts, 38.3% ( 72 188) were defined as high-risk donors. Risk criteria included prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation, age greater than 40 years, high inotrope requirements, undersizing by more than 20% body weight, significant wall motion impairment by echocardiography, elevation of myocardial enzyme levels, and cold ischemia time greater than 4 hours. There were no recipient deaths attributable to primary graft failure in the perioperative period. Operative (30-day), 1-year and 5-year survival was 95.5%, 86.1%, and 77.3%, respectively, in the high-risk group compared with 93.7%, 86.0%, and 67.2%, respectively, in the low-risk donor cohort(p = 0.94). Comparison of duration of postoperative inotrope use, intensive care unit stay, total hospital stay, and in-hospital costs revealed no significant trends favoring either group in postoperative morbidity. Among long-term survivors, development of graft coronary disease was noted in 47.1% ( 24 51) of the high-risk donor group and only 17.4% ( 12 69) of the remaining group (p = 0.0005). Left ventricular ejection fractions in the high risk donor group were 0.58 ± 0.01 at 2 years. Review of this series suggests that selective use of apparently compromised cardiac donors is compatible with excellent cardiac function and survival. Higher incidence of graft vasculopathy may cause significant morbidity during late follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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