Donor heart-related variables and early mortality after heart transplantation

J Heart Lung Transplant. Jan-Feb 1991;10(1 Pt 1):22-7.


Impaired donor heart function after heart transplantation results in the necessity for prolonged catecholamine and ventilatory support of the patient. Subsequently the risk of multiorgan impairment, infection, and rejection will be increased. In this retrospective analysis we tried to identify donor-related risk factors in patients who died early after transplantation. Of 174 patients undergoing heart transplantation from October 1985 through October 1988, 22 (12.6%) died early. Of the total, 39 cases were evaluated retrospectively for donor-related logistic and metabolic factors. All donors were analyzed with respect to the early mortality for age, weight, height, maximum dopamine concentration, thyroid hormone levels, and the duration from brain death until explantation and ischemia. Thirty patients were survivors (group A); nine patients died early (group B). By multiple regression analysis a significant influence (group A vs group B) of donor age, dopamine support, and ischemic time on early mortality could be demonstrated, whereas donor weight and height, hormone levels of triiodothyronine and thyroxine, and duration of brain death showed no correlation. From this limited experience we conclude that use of hearts from older donors with higher catecholamine support and longer ischemic times will result in an increased early mortality. In contrast, no influence of prolonged brain death times and metabolic factors could be demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / surgery*
  • Female
  • Heart Transplantation / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents