Objective: Domino cardiac transplantation affords flexible and optimal organ utilization, provides hearts unaffected by brain death, allows prospective tissue matching, and subsequent transplantation with short allograft ischemic times. A retrospective review of our experience with domino cardiac transplantation has been made.
Methods: Seventy-two of 119 patients who underwent heart-lung transplantation from 1988 on served as domino cardiac donors (40 males, 32 females; mean age of 32 years; mean weight of 51 kg). The domino donor diagnoses were cystic fibrosis (n = 47), bronchiectasis (n = 9), primary pulmonary hypertension (n = 6), emphysema (n = 7), pulmonary fibrosis (n = 2) and Eisenmenger's syndrome (n = 1). Forty-seven domino hearts were transplanted at our institution and 25 were exported to other centres in the United Kingdom. The 72 domino cardiac recipients were 62 males and 10 females, mean age of 47 years, mean weight of 60 kg, with ischemic heart disease (n = 32), cardiomyopathy (n = 36) and other conditions (n = 4).
Results: There were four deaths (5.6%) at less than 30 days (2 from multiple organ failure, 1 from primary allograft failure and 1 from acute rejection). Actuarial survival estimates and 1 and 5 years were 77 +/- 5.2% nd 69 +/- 6.3%, respectively. This compared favourably with survival data obtained in 234 non-domino cardiac recipients. In the patients transplanted at Papworth, there was no difference in the incidence of rejection (0.6 +/- 0.05 versus 0.7 +/- 0.03 events per 100 patient days for the first 12 months) or in the freedom from graft atherosclerosis (74 +/- 3% versus 70 +/- 3% at 5 years) between the domino and non-domino groups.
Conclusions: The use of domino hearts donated by recipients of heart-lung transplants is beneficial and is associated with an excellent early and longer-term outcome.