PMID: 45827Dec 1, 1976

Does cardiac transplantation prolong life and improve its quality? An updated report

S A HuntN E Shumway


The current status of the human cardiac transplant experience at Stanford University Medical Center is presented in order to reassess its role in the treatment of end-stage cardiac disease. Of 109 patients undergoing transplantation at Stanford between January 1968 and August 1976, 44 were still alive as of August 1, 1976. The overall 1- and 2-year survival rates for the series are 52% and 43%, respectively. Sixty-nine patients have survived more than 3 months, and their overall 1- and 2-year survival rates are 80% and 66%, respectively. Of the 3-month survivors, 62 (90%) returned to functional Class I New York Heart Association cardiac status and most of these returned to their pre-illness activities. Of 40 patients selected for transplantation for whom a donor did not become available, 38 were dead in less than 6 months. Complications related to immunosuppression with steroids are currently the major barrier to longer survival and improved rehabilitation postransplantation. On the basis of these data we conclude that cardiac transplantation not only prolongs survival, but can return carefully selected recipients to an active life.

Related Concepts

Therapeutic Immunosuppression
Postoperative Complications
Quality of Life
Transplantation, Homologous
Heart Transplantation

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