Simultaneous Versus Sequential Heart-liver Transplantation: Ideal Strategies for Organ Allocation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background: Simultaneous heart-liver (SHL) transplantation is an efficacious therapeutic modality for patients with combined heart and liver failure. However, the extent to which heart transplantation followed by sequential liver transplantation (LAH) can match the benefit of simultaneous transplantation has not previously been examined. Our objective was to determine if LAH offers comparable survival to SHL. Methods: The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing Standard Transplant Analysis and Research file was queried for adult recipients waitlisted for both heart and liver transplantation. The United Network for Organ Sharing thoracic and liver databases were linked to facilitate examination of waitlist and transplant characteristics for simultaneously listed patients. Univariate survival analysis was used to determine overall survival. Results: Of the 236 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 200 underwent SHL, 7 sequentially underwent LAH, and 29 received heart transplantation only (isolated orthotopic heart transplantation [iOHT]). Recipients of SHL were less likely to have an episode of acute rejection before discharge (LAH, 14.2%; SHL, 2.4%; iOHT, 3.6%; P = .019) or be treated for acute rejection within 1 year after transplantation (LAH, 14.3%; SHL, 2.5%; iOHT, 13.8%; P = .007). Otherwise, postoperative hospital length of stay, stroke, need for dialysis, and need for pacemaker placement were comparable across groups. Ten-year survival similarly favored both LAH and SHL over iOHT (LAH: 100%, 71.4%, 53.6%; SHL: 87.1%, 80.4%, 52.1%, iOHT: 70.1%, 51.6%, 27.5% for 1-, 5-, and 10-year survivals, respectively, P = .003). However, median time between heart and liver transplant was 302 days in patients undergoing sequential transplantation. Conclusions: Although transplantation in a simultaneous or sequential fashion yields equivalent outcomes, a high fraction of patients undergoing initial heart transplant alone fail to proceed to subsequent liver transplantation. Therefore, in patients with combined heart and liver failure with a projected need for 2 allografts, simultaneous transplantation is associated with maximum benefit.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rucker, AJ; Anderson, KL; Mulvihill, MS; Yerokun, BA; Barbas, AS; Hartwig, MG

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 1

Start / End Page

  • e415 -

PubMed ID

  • 30656213

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6324910

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2373-8731

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/TXD.0000000000000854


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States