Long-term survival after cardiac retransplantation - A single-center experience
ABSTRACT Cardiac retransplantation is controversial therapy because of a chronic shortage of donor hearts. We retrospectively reviewed short- and long-term outcomes after cardiac retransplantation. Between February 1989 and December 2004, 28 cases of cardiac retransplantation were performed. Indications for retransplantation were primary graft failure (PGF) in 11 patients (39.3%), intractable acute cardiac rejection (IACR) in 4 (14.3%), and coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV) in 13 (46.4%). The patients had been supported with prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) (n = 3), IABP (n = 1), intravenous inotropic support (n = 7), ECMO (n = 3), and VAD (n = 4). Ten patients had no inotropic support. Eight patients died within 30 days postoperatively. The causes of early death were acute rejection (n = 3 ; 37%), MOF (n = 3 ; 37%), PGF (n = 1 ; 13%), and right ventricular failure (n = 1 ; 13%). The causes of late death in 8 other patients were acute rejection (n = 4 ; 50%), CAV (n = 2 ; 25%), MOF (n = 1 ; 13%), and infection (n = 1 ; 13%). The 1-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year survivals were 78.5, 68.4, 54.5, and 38.3%, respectively, for primary cardiac transplantation, and 46.4, 40.6, 32.5, and 32.5% for cardiac retransplantation (P = 0.003). Acute cardiac rejection was the most common cause of death (43.8%). Thirty-day and 1-year survivals of IACR, PGF, and CAV were 50.0/0, 63.6/45.5, and 84.6/68.4%, respectively. Long-term survival after retransplantation was acceptable for patients with CAV and PGF, however, we should select patients carefully if the indication for retransplantation is IACR because of the poor outcome.