Donation After Circulatory Death in Heart Transplantation: History, Outcomes, Clinical Challenges, and Opportunities to Expand the Donor Pool.
Heart transplantation remains the gold-standard therapy for end-stage heart failure; the expected median survival range is 12-13 years. More than 30,000 heart transplants have been performed globally in the past decade alone. With advances in medical and surgical therapies for heart failure, including durable left ventricular assist devices, an increasing number of patients are living with end-stage disease. Last year alone, more than 2500 patients were added to the heart-transplant waitlist in the United States. Despite recent efforts to expand the donor pool, including an increase in transplantation of hepatitis C-positive and extended-criteria donors, supply continues to fall short of demand. Donation after circulatory death (DCD), defined by irreversible cardiopulmonary arrest rather than donor brain death, is widely used in other solid-organ transplants, including kidney and liver, but has not been widely adopted in heart transplantation. However, resurging interest in DCD donation and the introduction of ex vivo perfusion technology has catalyzed recent clinical trials and the development of DCD heart-transplantation programs. Herein, we review the history of DCD heart transplantation, describe the currently used procurement protocols for it and examine clinical challenges and outcomes of such a procedure.
Truby, LK; Casalinova, S; Patel, CB; Agarwal, R; Holley, CL; Mentz, RJ; Milano, C; Bryner, B; Schroder, JN; Devore, AD
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