Emergency heart transplantation outcome: The Italian experience

C. De Cillia, S. Venettoni, A. Ricci, M. Caprio, F. Lolli, L. Rizzato, A. Tancredi, A. Nanni Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The National Program for Emergency Heart Transplantation (NP) was implemented in 2005 is managed at the national level by the Italian National Transplant Center. Patients admitted to the NP must be undergoing one of the following treatments: short-term Ventricular Assist Device (VAD); complicated medium or long-term VAD; complicated Total Artificial Heart; or mechanical ventilation associated with an Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump and Continuous Inotrope Therapy (intravenously). The aim of this study was to evaluate the NP experience from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2009. We analyzed the number of requests (both fulfilled and not fulfilled), the timeliness of organ availability as well as graft and recipient survivals at 1 year. During the study period, 108 patients were admitted to the NP. The most frequent causes of admission were dilated cardiomyopathies (42.7%) and congenital cardiomyopathies (28.7%). Overall, whereas 12 subjects improved 65 patients underwent heart transplantation (60.2%) and 43 did not undergo surgery (39.8%) because of 31 succumbing before a heart became available. The median waiting time for heart transplantation was 3 days (range = 0.122), compared with median waiting time for elective heart transplantation (EHT) of 2.47 years. Graft and recipient survivals were 76.0 ± 1.06 compared with superior graft and recipient survivals for EHT during the same period (87.1 ± 2.0). However, implementation of NP has guaranteed heart availability at a short median time, thus allowing equitable management of this procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4231-4234
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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