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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Apr 3;59(14):1263-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.11.050.

Heart transplantation research in the next decade--a goal to achieving evidence-based outcomes: National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute Working Group.

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Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH, Two Rockledge Center, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-7956, USA.


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) convened a Working Group (WG) on August 5 to 6, 2010 in Bethesda, Maryland to discuss future directions of research in heart transplantation (HT). The WG was composed of researchers with expertise in the basic science, clinical science, and epidemiological aspects of advanced heart failure and HT. These experts were asked to identify the highest priority research gaps in the field and make recommendations for future research strategies. The WG was also asked to include approaches that capitalize on current scientific opportunities and focus on areas that required unique NHLBI leadership. Finally, the WG was charged with developing recommendations that would have short- and long-term impact on the field of HT. The WG participants reviewed key areas in HT and identified the most urgent knowledge gaps. These gaps were then organized into the following 4 specific research directions: 1) enhanced phenotypic characterization of the pre-transplant population; 2) donor-recipient optimization strategies; 3) individualized immunosuppression therapy; and, 4) investigations of immune and non-immune factors affecting late cardiac allograft outcomes. Finally, because the HT population is relatively small compared with other patient groups, the WG strongly urged concerted efforts to enroll every transplant recipient into a clinical study and to increase collaborative networks to optimize research in this field.

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