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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2009 Jul;28(7):667-9. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2009.04.005. Epub 2009 May 6.

Heart transplantation in human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is widely considered a contraindication for cardiac transplantation. However, with the newer anti-retroviral drugs, the estimated 10-year survival after seroconversion is exceeds 90%. This case series describes the intermediate range outcome of HIV-positive cardiac transplant recipients.


A retrospective analysis of 1679 cardiac transplant patients was undertaken to identify HIV-positive recipients.


Seven patients were identified. Five (4 men) were diagnosed with HIV before transplantation and 2 patients seroconverted after transplantation. Dilated cardiomyopathy was the indication for transplant in all patients. The 5 HIV recipients were aged 42 +/- 8 years, and time after HIV seroconversion averaged 9.5 years. All underwent cardiac transplantation as high-risk candidates. The CD4 count was 554 +/- 169 cells/microl, and viral load was undetectable in all patients at the time of transplantation. Two patients seroconverted to HIV-positive status at 1 and 7 years after transplant. No AIDS-defining illness was observed in any patient before or after transplant. Six patients received highly active anti-retroviral therapy. Viral load remained low in the presence of immunosuppression. All patients are alive with a follow-up from transplant of 57 +/- 78.9 months.


Excellent intermediate term outcome is noted in carefully selected HIV-positive patients. No significant AIDS-related infections or complications occurred.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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