Heart transplant patients with common disorder have high survival rates

Aug 24, 2010

Transplant surgery to correct the most common type of genetic heart disease yields similar short-term and potentially greater long-term survival rates as transplant surgery for other heart diseases, according to research reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Researchers found similar survival rates one year after heart transplant surgery between hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients (85 percent) and those with other kinds of heart disease (82 percent). Five years post-surgery, survival rates began to diverge with 75 percent of HCM and 70 percent of other patients surviving. At the 10-year mark, survival rates in both groups dropped, although they remained significantly higher in the HCM patients (61 percent) than in those with other heart diseases (49 percent).

"Patients with this disease who are undergoing transplant can expect reasonable long-term ," said Martin S. Maron, M.D., lead author and assistant professor of medicine, director of the Center, and co-director of Advanced at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass. "That's a crucial clinical message for this small but important subgroup of patients."

Inflammation of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) is a serious, potentially fatal disease that can prevent the heart from pumping blood effectively. In HCM - the second most common form of heart muscle disease - the pumping chamber of the heart, known as the , thickens (hypertrophies), making it stiff and less able to relax and for blood to fill the heart chambers.

Investigators used the United Network of Organ Sharing Registry, a nationwide database of all U.S. transplant patients, to analyze 26,706 adult patients' clinical and survival characteristics. HCM patients comprise about 1 percent of all U.S. heart transplant cases. Yet, the survival rate is comparable to surgeries for other reasons.

Study participants were mostly white (81 percent) and male (79 percent), average age 52. HCM patients, however, tended to be younger, average age 43, and more than half were women. Nearly one-third (31 percent) of participants reported smoking, although this rate was much lower among those with HCM (17 percent). All had received a heart transplant between January 1990 and December 2004.

Explore further: Ebola outbreak speeds up efforts to find a vaccine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Safe new therapy for genetic heart disease

Dec 30, 2008

A new clinical trial suggests that long-term use of candesartan, a drug currently used to treat hypertension, may significantly reduce the symptoms of genetic heart disease. The related report by Penicka et al, "The effects ...

Blood test could show transplant rejection

Dec 25, 2006

A blood test may replace invasive biopsies that heart transplant patients in the United States and elsewhere undergo to check for rejection, heart experts say.

Viral infection predicts heart transplant loss in children

Aug 02, 2010

Scientists report that viral infection of the heart is a predictor of heart transplant failure in young children and adolescents, although it can be detected by screening for viral genes and treated to improve organ survival.

Gene test shown to measure heart function after transplant

Mar 27, 2007

New research suggests a genomic test may provide detailed information on how well a transplanted heart is performing. The gene expression profiling (GEP) test, known as the Allomap® test, is currently used to detect the ...

Recommended for you

West Africa seals off Ebola outbreak epicentre

21 minutes ago

West Africa's Ebola-hit nations announced a cross-border isolation zone on Friday, sealing off the epicentre of the world's worst-ever outbreak as health chiefs warned the epidemic was spiralling out of control.

STDs on the rise in Miami area

4 hours ago

Rates of both chlamydia and syphilis in Miami-Dade have nearly doubled since 2006, according to new statistics from the Florida Department of Health.

User comments : 0