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Heart Fail Clin. 2007 Jan;3(1):97-105.

When is retransplantation a viable option?

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  • 1University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI 53792, USA.


As the number of recipients of heart transplantation grows over time and they survive longer, more are at risk for developing severe cardiac allograft vasculopathy and allograft dysfunction, which might lead to consideration for retransplantation. Clearly, outcomes following cardiac retransplantation are compromised, and with donor shortage, the selection of candidates must be judicious. Retransplantation appears most appropriate for those patients more than 6 months following original heart transplantation, who have severe cardiac allograft vasculopathy and associated left ventricular dysfunction, or allograft dysfunction and progressive symptoms of heart failure in the absence of acute rejection. Relative contraindications to transplantation (ie, advanced age, comorbidities, psychosocial issues) require thorough assessment when retransplantation is being considered.

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