Heart transplantation outcomes from cardiac arrest-resuscitated donors

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2013 Nov;32(11):1090-5. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Aug 29.


Background: The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of heart transplantation from cardiopulmonary-resuscitated donors (CPR(+)) to those who received hearts from donors who did not require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR(-)).

Methods: This investigation was a retrospective analysis of UNOS adult heart transplantation donor and recipient data from May 1994 through July 2012. Discrete variables were compared using the chi-square test. Continuous variables were compared using the t-test. Patient and graft survival rates were calculated using the actuarial method and compared using Wilcoxon's test.

Results: Of the 29,242 adult heart transplantations performed in USA during the study period, 1,396 patients (4.7%) received hearts from CPR(+) donors. The patients in the CPR(+) group were younger (25.5 ± 15 years vs 28.5 ± 14 years; p < 0.0001) and more likely to be female (31% vs 27%; p = 0.001). Mean duration of CPR in these donors was 20 minutes. UNOS listing status at the time of transplantation was Status 1A for 54.3% of those in the CPR(+) group and 46.9% in the CPR(-) group (p < 0.0001). More recipients were hospitalized and were in the intensive care unit at transplantation in the CPR(+) group (56% vs 51%; p = 0.0008). Recipient survival at 30 days, 1 year and 5 years was 95.2%, 88.2% and 72.9% in CPR(+) group, and 94.7%, 87.7% and 74.4% in the CPR(-) group, respectively. Similarly, graft survival at 30 days, 1 year and 5 years was 94.7%, 87.6% and 71.9% in the CPR(+) donor hearts, and 94.4%, 87.3% and 73.2% in the CPR(-) donor hearts, respectively.

Conclusions: This large, multicenter adult heart transplant database from across the USA did not show inferior outcomes in recipients of heart transplantation from selected CPR(+) donors. Recipient and graft survival were similar over 5 years of follow-up.

Keywords: cardiopulmonary resuscitation; donor selection; heart transplantation; ischemic preconditioning; recipient survival; risk factor.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Child
  • Donor Selection*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Arrest*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult