Long-term results of cardiac transplantation from live donors: the domino heart transplant

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2002 Sep;21(9):971-5. doi: 10.1016/s1053-2498(02)00406-0.


Background: Hearts explanted from the recipients of heart-lung transplants provide a unique source of transplants from live donors. This article presents long-term results with this procedure at our center.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of domino transplantations performed in our institution between 1989 and 1998.

Results: We analyzed 131 domino transplants (123 orthotopic, 8 heterotopic). Domino hearts were from patients with cystic fibrosis (69%), primary pulmonary hypertension (15%), and other diagnoses (16%). The mean recipient pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) was 3.1 Wood units, 25% of patients having values >4 Wood units. Thirty-day mortality was 13%. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year graft survival was 75% (70% confidence interval [CI], 65-74), 70% (70% CI, 65-74), and 58% (70% CI, 52-64), respectively. Patients with PVR >4 Wood units had 1-year survival (76%; 70% CI, 69-84) similar to that of patients with PVR of < or =4 units (74%; 70% CI, 69-80). Recipients of hearts from patients with cystic fibrosis survived longer (5-year survival, 76%; 70% CI, 71-82) vs 65% for non-cystic fibrosis hearts (70% CI, 57-74) p = 0.09). One-year survival was decreased after transplantation of hearts from female donors (66%; 70% CI, 60-72)) compared with hearts from male donors (85%; 70% CI, 79-90); p = 0.06). Late deaths caused by coronary artery disease and malignancy were uncommon.

Conclusion: Although the rate of early mortality after domino transplantation was slightly higher than after cadaveric transplantation, we noted a remarkably low long-term attrition rate in recipients of domino grafts, up to 10 years. In addition, successful transplantation of patients with high PVR supports the hypothesis that heart-lung recipients may provide superior donor hearts for this patient group, many of whom traditional listing criteria would exclude.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Heart Transplantation / methods*
  • Heart-Lung Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / surgery
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods*
  • Transplants*