Heart transplantation (HTx) is considered to be the gold standard treatment for advanced heart failure (HF) but it is available only for a minority of patients, due to paucity of donor hearts (278 HTx were performed in 2011 in Italy). Patients listed for HTx have a prolonged waiting time (that is about 2.3 years in the 2006-2010 time period in Italy) that is superior compared with patients who receive HTx (median time around 6 months), to underline the presence of an allocation system that prioritizes candidates in critical conditions. Patients listed for HTx have a poor quality of life and their annual mortality is around 8-10%. Another 10-15% of HTx candidates are removed from the waiting list each year because they are no longer suitable for transplantation. On the other hand, continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have been demonstrated to improve survival and quality of life of patients with advanced/refractory HF. LVAD therapy can represent a valid alternative to HTx, and it is recommended for patients with advanced HF in the recent edition of the European Society of Cardiology guidelines on HF management. In the United States, a larger number of centers compared with European ones started to apply a strategy of LVAD implant for many patients who meet clinical criteria for listing for HTx. Data from our center concerning the last 6 years of LVAD implant (51 implants since 2006) reported a 75.5% survival rate at 1 year. In Italian series, as in our center, current HTx survival is only slightly superior (83% survival rate at 1 year), based on data from the Italian National Transplant Center. We report a proposal for updated listing criteria for HTx and indications for LVAD implant in patients with advanced acute and chronic HF. Criteria for identifying suitable patients for HTx and/or LVAD considering the shortage of donors are discussed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Evolution of the indications for heart transplant and left ventricular assist device implant|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine