Combined heart-liver-kidney transplant: The university of Chicago medicine experience

Clin Transplant. 2022 Apr;36(4):e14586. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14586. Epub 2022 Feb 4.


Background: Until recently, combined heart-liver-kidney transplantation was considered too complex or too high-risk an option for patients with end-stage heart failure who present with advanced liver and kidney failure as well.

Aims: The objective of this paper is to present our institution's best practices for successfully executing this highly challenging operation. At our institution, referral patterns are most often initiated through the cardiac team.

Results: Determinants of successful outcomes include diligent multidisciplinary patient selection, detailed perioperative planning, and choreographed care transition and coordination among all transplant teams. The surgery proceeds in three distinct phases with three different teams, linked seamlessly in planned handoffs. The selection and perioperative care are executed with determined collaboration of all of the invested care teams.

Conclusions: Combined heart-liver-kidney transplantation can be successfully done by careful selection, coordination, and execution.

Keywords: clinical decision-making; heart failure/injury; kidney disease; liver disease; surgical technique.

MeSH terms

  • Heart Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Liver
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies