Research Article

Long-term survival after orthotopic and heterotopic cardiac transplantation.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 25 October 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1093
  1. D K Cooper,
  2. R G Charles,
  3. R C Fraser,
  4. W Beck,
  5. C N Barnard


    Five long-term survivors of heart transplantation were reinvestigated. Two patients had undergone orthotopic heart transplantation over 11 and 9 years earlier and constitute two of the world's longest-surviving patients after this procedure. Three patients had undergone heterotopic heart transplantation (one left heart bypass alone and two biventricular bypass) four to six years earlier. Four of the five patients had had only one or no documented acute rejection episodes. Three had been given blood transfusions. None had had particularly good tissue matching in relation to the donor on HLA typing. All five patients were leading full and active lives. At review two patients had significant coronary artery disease, one severe, presumably due to chronic immune-complex deposition. Heart transplantation remains a major undertaking, but it can offer the patient many years of good-quality life.