Factors affecting survival after heart transplantation: comparison of pre- and post-1999 listing protocols.

Research paper by Alfred A AA Bove, Abul A Kashem, Robert C RC Cross, Joyce J Wald, Satoshi S Furukawa, Gail O GO Berman, James B JB McClurken, Howard J HJ Eisen

Indexed on: 10 Jan '06Published on: 10 Jan '06Published in: The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation


Listing status for heart transplantation (Tx) patients was changed in 1999 from Status 1 and 2 to Status 1A, 1B and 2. Because the selection process was modified in favor of seriously ill patients, it was not clear whether this change would affect survival or other aspects of transplant management.We examined outcomes in 551 patients transplanted at our institution between 1986 and 2002 (pre-1999: n = 419; post-1999: n = 132) to determine the effects of change in listing protocol on transplant outcome.Using Cox proportional hazard analysis, survival was not different between pre-1999 (pre) and post-1999 (post). Overall waiting-list times were longer post-1999 (pre: 134 +/- 10.5 days, post: 172 +/- 15.6 days; p = 0.044), and were longer post-1999 for blood groups A (177 vs 123 days), B (96 vs 84 days) and O (229 vs 172 days), but were shorter post for blood group AB (42 vs 68 days). Survival was not affected by age (pre: 53.7 +/- 0.52 years, post: 53.1 +/- 1.04 years; hazard ratio [HR] 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.996 to 1.023; p = 0.181), male gender (HR 1.132; 95% CI 0.822 to 1.56; p = 0.447) or waiting-list time. Serum creatinine was similar between the 2 groups (pre: 1.25 +/- 0.02, post: 1.26 +/- 0.04; p = 0.794), whereas pulmonary artery (PA) diastolic pressure was increased post-1999 (pre: 24.9 +/- 0.46, post: 27.0 +/- 0.74; p = 0.023). Survival was not affected by PA pressure (HR 1.00; 95% CI 0.986 to 1.014; p = 0.976), but an elevated pre-transplant creatinine reduced survival (HR 1.484; 95% CI 1.139 to 1.933; p = 0.003).The change in listing status implemented in 1999 caused an increase in wait times for patients with blood types A, B and O, and shortened wait time for type AB; however, no differences occurred in overall post-transplant survival after the change in listing protocol. Age, gender and PA pressure had no effect on survival in either time period, whereas pre-transplant serum creatinine decreased survival in both patient groups.