Marginal cardiac allografts do not have increased primary graft dysfunction in alternate list transplantation

Brian Lima, Keshava Rajagopal, Rebecca P. Petersen, Ashish S. Shah, Beth Soule, G. Michael Felker, Joseph G. Rogers, Andrew J. Lodge, Carmelo A. Milano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND - Clinical success with modern heart transplantation (HT) has led to the development of an alternate list (AL) HT strategy, matching marginal cardiac allografts with recipients who do not meet standard criteria for HT. Marginal allografts may be at an increased risk for primary graft dysfunction (PGD), the leading cause of early mortality after HT. The incidence of PGD in AL HT relative to standard list (SL) HT has not been evaluated, and may contribute to the greater mortality associated with AL HT. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of and predictors for PGD. METHODS AND RESULTS - A retrospective analysis was performed on 260 consecutive adult patients undergoing either SL HT (n=207) or AL HT (n=53) at our institution from 1/2000 to 1/2005. PGD was defined by requirement for mechanical circulatory support immediately post-HT or more broadly as the need for either mechanical support or high-dose inotrope (epinephrine ≥0.07 μg/kg/min). Donor hearts allocated to AL recipients were turned down for SL HT for reasons that included coronary disease, left ventricular dysfunction or hypertrophy, and high-dose inotropic requirement. AL HT recipients were significantly older, with a higher proportion of diabetes mellitus and ischemic cardiomyopathy. Both groups experienced a similar incidence of significant rejection, but overall mortality was higher in the AL HT group. The incidence of PGD did not differ between AL and SL HT recipients. Pre-transplant VAD and prolonged total ischemic times (≥4.5hours) were independent predictors of PGD. CONCLUSION - Select marginal donor hearts used in AL HT do not have an increased incidence of PGD. Pre-transplant VAD and prolonged ischemic times are more important determinants of PGD. These data support continued aggressive utilization of marginal donor hearts in AL HT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart failure
  • Heart-assist device
  • Marginal donors
  • Primary graft dysfunction
  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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