Penn researchers say congenital heart disease patients can receive heart transplants

A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia presented findings this week that show heart transplants can be performed with excellent outcomes in adult patients with prior corrective surgery for congenital heart disease.

The study outcomes were presented at the American College of Cardiology 65th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago.

According to Jonathan Menachem, MD, a fellow in Penn's division of cardiovascular medicine, patients with adult congenital heart disease, or ACHD, are passed over for heart transplants far more frequently than patients with heart failure stemming from other causes. Reason being, most ACHD patients are evaluated for a heart transplant using criteria from the United Organ Sharing Network, which asks whether patients are on mechanical support or if they are on any medications helping to improve heart function, among other measures.

Dr. Menachem and the research team conducted a study analyzing data from 17 consecutive patients with ACHD who underwent heart transplantation between March 2010 and July 2015. The patients were evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team of adult and pediatric subspecialists. Using an average follow-up of 35 months, the researchers found a 100 percent survival at both 30 days and one year, as of September 2015.

"We are constantly in search of ways to improve the length and quality of life for those with ACHD, and our research indicates that greater consideration should be given to the potential for these patients to receive heart transplants," said Dr. Menachem. "The multi-disciplinary approach we've taken to achieve these results could serve as the model for providing ACHD patients with the best chance of a successful transplant."



More articles on organ transplants:
Johns Hopkins performs world's first HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant
New kidney transplant procedure allows kidney from any donor
Cleveland Clinic: First uterus transplant in US is unsuccessful

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