Factors associated with primary graft failure after heart transplantation

Mark J. Russo, Alexander Iribarne, Kimberly N. Hong, Basel Ramlawi, Jonathan M. Chen, Hiroo Takayama, Donna M. Mancini, Yoshifumi Naka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


Background. Primary graft failure (PGF) is the most common cause of short-term mortality after cardiac transplantation. The low prevalence of PGF has limited efforts at identifying risk factors for its development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate risk factors associated with PGF after heart transplantation. Methods. Deidentified data were obtained from United Network for Organ Sharing. Analysis included heart transplant recipients more than or equal to 18 years transplanted between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2007 (n=16,716). PGF was studied from the perspective of "hard outcomes" including death or retransplantation within 90 days of transplant due to graft failure, not related to rejection or infection. Multivariate regression analysis was performed (backward, remove P>0.15) to assess the simultaneous effect of multiple variables on PGF. The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were reported for each factor. Results. Among the 414 heart transplants complicated by PGF, 354 (85.5%) recipients died and 60 (14.5%) were retransplanted. PGF accounted for 23.4% (n=364) of all deaths (n=1555) in the first 90 days posttransplant. Categories of pretransplant variables associated with PGF included: ischemic time, donor gender, donor age, multiorgan donation, center volume, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, mechanical circulatory support, etiology of heart failure, and reoperative heart transplant. The area under the receiver operative characteristic curve for the multivariate model was 0.764 (0.733-0.796). Conclusions. Pretransplant recipient and donor characteristics are associated with PGF. Identification of risk factors may aid in understanding the mechanisms underlying PGF and in matching recipients with donors in efforts to diminish the high mortality associated with this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 27 2010


  • Cardiac transplantation
  • Outcomes
  • Primary graft failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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