Heterotopic Heart Transplantation: The United States Experience


  • Jama Jahanyar
  • Michael M. Koerner
  • Ali Ghodsizad
  • Matthias Loebe
  • George P. Noon




Introduction: More than 3 decades have passed since the first heterotopic heart transplantation (HHT) was reported. Nowadays, this surgical technique is used rarely, and only in patients who do not qualify for standard orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). Current indications mainly comprise refractory pulmonary hypertension and a donor-recipient size mismatch (>20%). The objective of this study was to analyze the United States experience with HHT.

Patients and Methods: The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database between 1987 and 2007 was analyzed. Patients who underwent heart transplantation were enrolled in this study. Patients with missing transplant dates or history of retransplantation were excluded.

Results: A total of 41,379 patients underwent OHT and 178 HHT; 32,361 and 111 patients, respectively, were enrolled. Overall 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival was significantly (P < .001) better in OHT (87.7%, 74.4%, 54.4%) than HHT patients (83.8%, 59%, 35.1%). Survival in patients with transpulmonary gradients (TPG) >15 mmHg was 86.6 %, 73.3%, and 57.4% in the OHT and 93.8%, 64.8%, and 48.6% in the HHT group (P = .35). Pretransplant criteria (HHT versus OHT) with statistically significant differences (P < .05) were as follows (mean + SD): recipient weight, 78.9 + 19.9 versus 74.1 + 23.4 kg; recipient height, 174.9 + 13.9 versus 168 + 25.1 cm; and TPG 12.1 + 7.2 versus 9.6 + 6.3 mmHg.

Conclusions: The results show that HHT remains a feasible option in a highly selected patient population, with overall good results.


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How to Cite

Jahanyar, J., Koerner, M. M., Ghodsizad, A., Loebe, M., & Noon, G. P. (2014). Heterotopic Heart Transplantation: The United States Experience. The Heart Surgery Forum, 17(3), E132-E140. https://doi.org/10.1532/HSF98.2014328