Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Sep;56(6):323-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038662.

Cardiac retransplantation in adults: an evidence-based systematic review.

Author information

  • 1Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine Westphalia, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.



It remains a matter of dispute whether cardiac retransplantation should be performed. We aimed to systematically review the available evidence regarding cardiac retransplantation in adults.


In PubMed, we searched for original reports on cardiac retransplantation in adults. The evidence level of individual studies was assessed.


Twenty-two studies met our selection criteria. The cumulative incidence was 3% (range: 1% to 15%). The incidence rate was 164/10,000 person-years (range: 145 to 318/10,000 person-years). The main indications for retransplantation were cardiac allograft vasculopathy (55%), acute rejection (19%), and primary graft failure (17%). The early mortality rate was 16% (range: 5% to 38%). Refractory acute rejection and primary graft failure, female donor, shorter transplant interval, initial diagnosis of ischemic cardiomyopathy, need for mechanical circulatory support, a center volume of less than 9 transplantations/year, older recipient age, requirement of pretransplant ventilator and intensive care, and ischemic time were associated with poorer outcomes, while cardiac allograft vasculopathy as the cause of allograft failure, employment, and later transplant period were associated with improved survival.


This systematic review shows that the results of cardiac retransplantation in adults are inconclusive. Retransplantation for cardiac allograft vasculopathy is associated with satisfactory outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, New York
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk