Aim: Heart transplantation (HTx) has become a standard treatment for patients with end-stage heart disease. The aim of this study was to report the long-term outcome after HTx in Scandinavia.
Methods and results: During the period, 1983-2009, 2333 HTxs were performed in 2293 patients (mean age 45 ± 16 years, range 0-70, 78% male). The main indications for HTx were non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy (50%), ischaemic cardiomyopathy (34%), valvular cardiomyopathy (3%), congenital heart disease (7%), retransplantation (2%), and miscellaneous (4%). The registry consists of pre-operative data from recipients and donors, data from pre-operative procedures, and long-term follow-up data. Mean follow-up was 7.8 ± 6.6 years (median 6.9, interquartile range 2.5-12.3, interval 0-27) and no patients were lost to follow-up. Long-term survival for HTx patients was 85, 76, 61, 43, and 30% at 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of follow-up, respectively. Ten-year survival in patients bridged with mechanical circulatory support, in children, after retransplantation, and after concomitant other organ transplantation was 56, 74, 38, and 43%, respectively. Older patients (age > 55 years) had a significantly worse survival (P < 0.001). Patients transplanted more recently had a significantly better survival (P < 0.001). In a multivariate Cox regression analysis, independent predictors of long-term survival were recipient age (P < 0.001), donor age (P < 0.001), diagnosis (P = 0.001), and era of transplantation (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: HTx in Scandinavia proves to have a significantly better survival among patients transplanted in the last decade. HTxs from mechanical circulatory support, in children, after retransplantation, and with concomitant other organ transplantation were performed with acceptable results.