Objectives This study investigates the outcomes of cardiac transplantation using older donors. Background Despite high mortality rates on waiting lists, transplanting hearts from older donors remains a relative contraindication. Methods We retrospectively reviewed data on 479 adult heart transplant recipients, 352 status I patients, and 534 status II patients enrolled on a waiting list between 1992 and 1999. The Cox proportional hazards model was used for statistical analysis. Results Of all donors, 20% were 40 to 50 years old and 8% were ≥50 years old. The risk of six-month mortality on the waiting list for patients who were not transplanted (status I: relative risk [RR] 8.5; status II: RR 3.7) significantly outweighed the risk of transplanting patients with a heart from donors >40 years old (status I: RR 1.6; status II: RR 2.1). Recipients of cardiac allografts from donors <40 years old had a one-month mortality rate of 5%, in contrast to 13% and 22% in those receiving allografts from donors 40 to 50 years old and ≥50 years old, respectively. Donor age did not influence long-term survival or frequency of rejections; however, it did correlate with the early presence of transplant-related coronary artery disease (TCAD). By the first annual angiogram, only 17% of recipients with donors <20 years old developed TCAD, in contrast to 26% to 30% and 34% of recipients who received allografts from donors age 20 to 40 years and >40 years, respectively. Conclusions Despite a strong association between older donor age and increased post-operative mortality and TCAD, it is more beneficial in terms of patient survival to receive an allograft from a donor >40 years old than to remain on the waiting list.
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- United Network of Organ Sharing
- cerebrovascular accident
- confidence interval
- coronary artery disease
- human leukocyte antigen
- left ventricular assist device
- relative risk
- transplant-related coronary artery disease