Latest developments in heart transplantation: a review

Clin Ther. 2015 Oct 1;37(10):2234-41. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2015.08.019.


Purpose: Heart transplantation (HT) remains the treatment of choice for advanced heart failure despite improvements in medical therapy and mechanical circulatory support. Significant developments have occurred in the field of HT over the past year, in particular the successful transplantation of donor hearts after circulatory determination of death. The purpose of this article was to review developments in HT published in 2014 and 2015.

Methods: Selected articles found using a MEDLINE search of the key term heart transplant were reviewed.

Findings: The year has seen improvements in the attenuation of ischemia and reperfusion injury, patient selection, immunosuppression, imaging of the transplanted heart, and donor organ preservation that hold promise for increasing the number of transplantations and improving outcomes in HT recipients. Advances in the detection and attenuation of cardiac rejection and allograft vasculopathy are highlighted.

Implications: A number of significant advances over the past year hold promise for tangible improvements in outcomes in the field of HT.

Keywords: aging; donation after circulatory death; heart transplantation; immunosuppression; ischemia-reperfusion injury; rejection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Graft Rejection
  • Heart
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart Transplantation / trends*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / trends
  • Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control
  • Organ Preservation / trends
  • Patient Selection
  • Tissue Donors