Heart Transplant Success Improving, Patients Living Longer

Many patients live 20 years or more after transplantation


January 31, 2014
January 31, 2014 — Heart transplant patients may live 20 years or more after surgery, according to a study in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Hector Rodriguez Cetina Biefer, M.D. and Markus J. Wilhelm, M.D., from the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland, led a research team that examined long-term outcomes in 133 patients from their institution who underwent heart transplantation from 1985 to 1991.
Among those patients, 74 (55.6 percent) survived at least 20 years post-transplantation. The average age at transplant for the 20-year survivors was 43.6 years.
Major causes of death in non-survivors were graft rejection (21 percent), malignancy (21 percent), cardiac allograft vasculopathy (14.5 percent) and infections (14.5 percent).
“With continued improvements in immunosuppressive management in the coming years, we expect to see transplant patients living longer, healthier lives,” said Wilhelm. 
For more information: www.en.usz.ch