Chronic shortage of donor organs for heart transplantation led us to extend donor age limits. To verify the effectiveness of such a policy we have compared the results of heart transplantation in 45 patients with donors more than 40 years of age (group 1),vith those of 72 patients older than 50 years of age who had heart transplantation with younger donors (group 2) between November 1985 and December 1992. The two groups were comparable in terms of mean recipient age, recipient and donor sex, and indication for heart transplantation. Mean donor age was 46 +/- 4 years (range 41 to 59 years) in group 1 and 23 +/- 7 years (range 8 to 39 years) in group 2 (p < 0.001). In group 1 cerebrovascular accidents were more common as the cause of donor death (60% versus 16%, p = 0.001), and no difference was found in ischemic time (144 +/- 47 minutes versus 140 +/- 48 minutes, p = not significant). There were 6 early (<30 days) deaths in group 1 (13%) and 10 in group 2 (14%; p = not significant). Fatal acute graft failure was more prevalent, but not significantly so, in group 1 (10% versus 5.5%, p = not significant). Mean follow-up was 29 +/- 20 months (range 3 to 78 months) in group 1 and 30 +/- 20 months (range 3 to 80 months) in group 2 (p = not significant). At 5 years actuarial survival was 80% +/- 6% in both groups with comparable graft performance at echocardiographic and hemodynamic control studies. A significant difference was found in freedom from any type of coronary artery abnormality between group 1 (49% +/- 13%) and group 2 (77% +/- 8%) at 5 years (p < 0.05); however, freedom from coronary stenotic lesions only was similar. Major conduction disturbances have occurred more frequently in patients of group 1 (37% versus 12%; p = 0.003) without any difference in the need for permanent pacing. Donors older than 40 years of age can be accepted for heart transplantation with early and long-term results comparable with those obtained with younger donors. The impact of a higher incidence of coronary abnormalities on late performance of older grafts must be assessed at longer follow-up. Our results indicate that, because of the current organ shortage, extension of donor age limits is justified, even up to the sixth decade of life in selected cases
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.