Increased Use of Multiorgan Transplantation in Heart Transplantation: Only Time Will Tell

Cecillia Lui, Charles D. Fraser, Xun Zhou, Alejandro Suarez-Pierre, Joshua C. Grimm, Robert S.D. Higgins, Kenton J. Zehr, Ahmet Kilic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The utilization of multiorgan transplantation in cardiac transplantation has steadily increased over the past several years. We sought to characterize the trends and outcomes in simultaneous heart and other organ transplantation compared with heart transplantation alone. Methods: The United Network for Organ Sharing database was queried for all adult patients (age ≥ 18 y) who underwent isolated heart transplantation or simultaneous heart-lung or heart-kidney transplantation from 1987-2016. Patients were stratified into 3 equal time intervals. Demographics and postoperative outcomes were compared. Results: A total of 58,060 patients were identified with a distribution based on era. Dual organ recipients had more factors associated with increased operative risk including higher rates of diabetes, pulmonary hypertension, intensive care unit admissions, and dialysis prior to transplantation. Heart-lung and heart-kidney recipients had decreased 1-year survival compared with isolated heart recipients from 2007-2016. However, heart-kidney recipients had significantly increased 5-year post-transplantation survival compared with isolated heart recipients with impaired renal function. For isolated heart transplants and heart-lung transplants, 5-year survival rates improved over time, whereas 5-year survival for heart-kidney recipients did not improve with time. Conclusions: We found a significantly increased 5-year survival rate for heart-kidney transplant recipients compared with isolated heart transplant recipients with renal impairment. Lack of improvement in 5-year postoperative outcomes for heart-kidney recipients in the setting of higher-risk pretransplant clinical characteristics suggests decreased selectivity regarding heart-kidney recipients. Continued scrutiny and evaluation of postoperative outcomes are required to ensure just and appropriate utilization of organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1315
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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