DOI: 10.1111/ctr.15214 ISSN: 0902-0063

A change of heart: Characteristics and outcomes of multiple cardiac retransplant recipients

Jaya Batra, Ersilia M. DeFilippis, Kevin Clerkin, David Bae, Kyung Taek Oh, Dor Lotan, Veli K. Topkara, Sun Hi Lee, Farhana Latif, Paolo Colombo, Melana Yuzefpolskaya, Jayant Raikhelkar, David T. Majure, Gabriel Sayer, Nir Uriel
  • Transplantation



Among heart transplant (HT) recipients who develop advanced graft dysfunction, cardiac re‐transplantation may be considered. A smaller subset of patients will experience failure of their second allograft and undergo repeat re‐transplantation. Outcomes among these individuals are not well‐described.


Adult and pediatric patients in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) registry who received HT between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 2020 were included.


Between 1990 and 2020, 90 individuals received a third HT and three underwent a fourth HT. Recipients were younger than those undergoing primary HT (mean age 32 years). Third HT was associated with significantly higher unadjusted rates of 1‐year mortality (18% for third HT vs. 13% for second HT vs. 9% for primary HT, p < .001) and 10‐year mortality (59% for third HT vs. 42% for second HT vs. 37% for primary HT, p < .001). Mortality was highest amongst recipients aged >60 years and those re‐transplanted for acute graft failure. Long‐term rates of CAV, rejection, chronic dialysis, and hospitalization for infection were also higher.


Third HT is associated with higher morbidity and mortality than primary HT. Further consensus is needed regarding appropriate organ stewardship for this unique subgroup.

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