Predictors of survival after repeat heart transplantation

R. D. Ensley, S. Hunt, D. O. Taylor, D. G. Renlund, R. L. Menlove, S. V. Karwande, J. B. O'Connell, M. L. Barr, R. E. Michler, J. G. Copeland, L. W. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


To examine factors potentially predictive of outcome after repeat heart transplantation, data were analyzed for 449 recipients of second allografts reported to the registry of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and a matched group of 421 primary transplant recipients. Survival was markedly decreased in repeat transplantation patients (1 year actuarial survival rate, 48% vs 79%; p < 0.001). Univariate analysis showed no impact on survival of recipient age or gender, ischemic time, or transplant center experience. Accelerated coronary artery disease as the cause of allograft failure, longer interval between transplants, lack of preoperative mechanical assistance, and second transplantation after 1985 were predictive of increased survival after repeat transplantation. An 'ideal candidate' defined by these predictive variables had a 1-year survival rate of 64%. In addition to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation registry, a multicenter data base was developed with data for 125 repeat transplant recipients and 1325 primary transplant recipients at 13 transplant centers in the United States. In this group of patients the 1-year survival rate was greater than that in the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation registry (60% vs 48%), and the impact of the predictive variables listed previously was decreased. The incidence of rejection, infection, and accelerated coronary artery disease was not different between secondary and primary allograft recipients. Nonskin malignancies occurred more frequently in repeat transplantation patients (8% vs 4%; p < 0.05). Recipients of second allografts were more likely to have major surgical complications, had a higher level of sensitization to HLA antigens, and were more likely to have a positive donor-specific crossmatch (17% vs 2%). A trend toward improved survival was noted in patients with repetition in the second donor of mismatched HLA antigens present in the first donor (1-year survival rate of 68% vs 47%; p = 0.06). We conclude that longer interval between transplants, accelerated coronary artery disease as cause of allograft loss, and lack of preoperative mechanical assistance are predictive of longer survival after repeat transplantation. Nonetheless, the 'ideal candidate' for repeat transplantation has an anticipated survival rate significantly less than that expected for primary transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S142-S158
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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