Background: Following second heart transplantation (HTx), some patients experience graft failure and require third-time heart transplantation. Little data exist to guide decision-making with regard to repeat retransplantation in older patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of patients receiving a third HTx, as identified in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database from 1985 to 2017. Results: The study cohort consisted of N = 60 patients, with an average age of 29 with a standard deviation of ±18 years. Overall survival for the cohort at 1, 5, and 10 years is 83%, 64%, and 44%, respectively. The rate of third-time HTxs has steadily increased in all age groups. Patients older than 50 years now account for 18.3% of all third-time HTxs. Although this group demonstrated longer average previous graft survival, after third HTx they demonstrate significantly poorer survival outcomes compared to third-time HTx recipients younger than 21 (P = 0.05). Age over 50, BMI over 30, and diabetes were all found to be independent risk factors for decreased survival following third HTx. Conclusions: We describe trends in patients undergoing third HTx. We highlight subsets of such recipients who exhibit decreased survival.
- United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
- graft survival
- heart (allograft) function
- registry analysis