Research Article

Long term follow up of severely ill patients who underwent urgent cardiac transplantation.

BMJ 1993; 306 doi: (Published 09 January 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;306:98
  1. D Mulcahy,
  2. M Fitzgerald,
  3. C Wright,
  4. J Sparrow,
  5. J Pepper,
  6. M Yacoub,
  7. K M Fox
  1. Royal Brompton National Heart and Lung Hospital, London.


    OBJECTIVE--To assess long term survival (> 5 years) and quality of life in severely ill patients referred for urgent cardiac transplantation. SETTING--Tertiary referral centres: before transplantation at the National Heart Hospital (late 1984 to end 1986); after transplantation at Harefield Hospital. SUBJECTS--Eighteen patients (15 men; three women) who had required intensive support in hospital before cardiac transplantation and were alive at short term follow up. INTERVENTIONS--Intravenous infusions of cardiac drugs (mean 2.2 infusions), intravenous diuretics (17 patients), and many other drugs before transplantation. Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (four patients), temporary pacing (two), and resuscitation from cardiac arrest (three). Patients had specialised nursing care on a medical intensive care unit in almost every case. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Long term survival in patients after urgent cardiac transplantation and perceived quality of life. RESULTS--Of 18 patients who were alive at short term follow up (mean (range) 19.4 (10-33) months), 14 were still alive in 1992 (69 (61-83) months). Ten still worked full time, and 11 reported no restrictions in their daily activities. Three of four patients who died in the intervening period survived > 5 years after transplantation. Overall, 17 of 18 patients survived at least 5 years. CONCLUSIONS--In severely ill patients who undergo urgent cardiac transplantation and survive in the short term, long term (5-7 year) survival and quality of life seem good.