Clinical experience with cardiac retransplantation

R. E. Michler, M. J. McLaughlin, J. M. Chen, R. Geimen, F. Schenkel, C. R. Smith, M. L. Barr, E. A. Rose, W. A. Gay, V. Starnes, J. G. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Although more than 560 patients worldwide have undergone cardiac retransplantation, few studies of this population have been reported. To evaluate the risk of cardiac retransplantation and to better establish selection criteria, we reviewed the records of all patients who underwent retransplantation at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Of 431 patients who underwent transplantation between February 1977 and March 1991, 408 underwent the procedure in the era of cyclosporine-based immunosuppression. Thirteen of these 408 patients underwent retransplantation (including one patient who received a third graft). Indications for the 14 retransplantations included transplant coronary artery disease (n = 8), rejection (n = 5), and intraoperative graft failure (n = 1). Immunosuppression and follow-up protocols used in this cohort were similar to those in the primary transplantation population. No significant differences were found in either actuarial survival between primary transplant recipients (75.1% ± 2.2% at 1 year and 71.3% ± 2.4% at 2 years) and patients who underwent retransplantation (71.4% ± 12.1% at 1 year and 59.5% ± 14.8% at 2 years) or in linearized rates of rejection and actuarial freedom from rejection between the two groups. No differences between these groups were found with regard to age, sex, race, origin of end-stage heart disease, or early (<30 day) mortality. The origin of primary graft failure did not correlate with survival outcome in the retransplantation cohort. Follow-up time for patients having primary transplantation ranged from 0 to 8 years (mean 24 months) with a cumulative patient follow-up of 830 patient-years; follow-up time for patients who underwent retransplantation ranged from 0 to 3 years (mean 8.1 months) with a cumulative patient follow-up of 9.5 patient- years. Approximately 50% of patients in both groups had at least one rejection episode by 3 months. Within the limited time period studied after retransplantation, only one patient had transplant coronary artery disease, approximately 27 months after her first retransplantation procedure for acute rejection. These results indicate that the prognosis for patients undergoing cardiac retransplantation is good for patients for whom the indication for retransplantation is identified more than 30 days after initial transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-631
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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