Combined heart-kidney transplantation: The university of Wisconsin experience

Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation (Impact Factor: 5.61). 12/2007; 26(11):1119-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2007.08.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Combined heart-kidney transplantation (HKTx) is increasing in frequency, but long-term outcomes are unknown and appropriately comparative analysis is lacking.
This study was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data for 19 HKTx patients. Patient and graft survival, graft rejection and coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV) were compared for HKTx vs recipients of a heart (n = 515) or kidney alone (n = 3,188) or both organs at separate time-points (n = 8).
Patient and graft survival did not differ for HKTx vs any group. HKTx time to first rejection episode was significantly prolonged for both organs vs single-organ recipients. The incidence of CAV was significantly lower for HKTx.
HKTx provides outcomes similar to those for solitary heart or kidney transplantation. There may be an immunologic advantage to receiving organs in a combined fashion. Such allocation of organs seems medically appropriate; however, more refined strategies are needed to identify optimal recipient populations.

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    ABSTRACT: There has been significant progress in the field of heart transplantation over the last 45 years. The 1-yr survival rates following heart transplantation have improved from 30% in the 1970s to almost 90% in the 2000s. However, there has been little change in long-term outcomes. This is mainly due to chronic rejection, malignancy, and the detrimental side effects of chronic immunosuppression. In addition, over the last decade, new challenges have arisen such as increasingly complicated recipients and antibody-mediated rejection. Most, if not all, of these obstacles to long-term survival could be prevented or ameliorated by the induction of transplant tolerance wherein the recipient's immune system is persuaded not to mount a damaging immune response against donor antigens, thus eliminating the need for chronic immunosuppression. However, the heart, as opposed to other allografts like kidneys, appears to be a tolerance-resistant organ. Understanding why organs like kidneys and livers are prone to tolerance induction, whereas others like hearts and lungs are tolerance-resistant, could aid in our attempts to achieve long-term, immunosuppression-free survival in human heart transplant recipients. It could also advance the field of pig-to-human xenotransplantation, which, if successful, would eliminate the organ shortage problem. Of course, there are alternative futures to the field of heart transplantation that may include the application of total mechanical support, stem cells, or bioengineered whole organs. Which modality will be the first to reach the ultimate goal of achieving unlimited, long-term, circulatory support with minimal risk to longevity or lifestyle is unknown, but significant progress in being made in each of these areas.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: We report our experience with seven cases of combined heart-kidney transplantation (HKT). Patients and methods: Between January 2003 and December 2009, seven subjects underwent combined HKT, receiving both organs from a single donor. Their age ranged from 30 years to 59 years, six were male. Five patients were dialysis dependent before transplantation and two were in chronic renal failure (serum crea-tinine levels > 2.6 mg/dL). The heart was transplanted first in all cases. Results: Heart function rapidly re-covered in five of the patients, while two needed temporary inotropic and mechanical support. Diuresis started immediately in four patients. At discharge, all patients had well-functioning grafts (left ventricular ejection fraction 60% ± 6%; serum creatinine 1.4 ± 0.3 mg/dL). After an average follow-up period of 45 ± 24 months no deaths have occurred. Heart allografts are functioning normally in six patients and none of the patients currently require dialysis treatment. The main adverse event noted during follow-up was hyperten-sion in five patients. Four patients were cardiac allograft rejection free and five patients were kidney rejec-tion free. Conclusion: Our results are in line with the data which has been previously reported in the litera-ture and suggest that HKT is a viable therapeutic choice in the treatment of advanced cardiac and renal fail-ure in carefully selected patients.