Outcomes in cardiac transplantation have improved during the past 30 years because of advances made in medicine and surgery. Patients referred for cardiac transplantation are examined through a rigorous evaluation process that involves a multidisciplinary approach to determine candidacy. The list for candidates awaiting transplantation has grown more rapidly than the donor pool, resulting in a need to expand the criteria for donors. Some centers now extend criteria to include older donors, those with prolonged periods of ischemia, donor-recipient mismatches, and donors requiring bypass surgery. Long-term outcomes from the expanded donor pool are under evaluation. Studies are currently in progress to explore inducing tolerance through bone marrow infusion and rejection detection with the use of a pacemaker. Future alternatives to transplantation include the left ventricular assist device as a bridge to recovery, xenotransplantation, and the totally artificial heart.
Transplantation| May 01 1999
Heart Transplantation: State of the Art
Therm K. Rourke, RN, MA, CCTC, CCRN;
From the Cardiomyopathy and Transplant Center, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Reprint requests to: Theresa K. Rourke, RN, MA, CCTC, CCRN, Temple University Hospital, Cardiomyopathy and Transplant Center, Suite 320 Parkinson Pavilion, 3401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140.
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Marie T. Droogan, RN, MS, CCTC, CCRN;
AACN Adv Crit Care (1999) 10 (2): 185–201.
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Therm K. Rourke, Marie T. Droogan, Linda Ohler; Heart Transplantation: State of the Art. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 May 1999; 10 (2): 185–201. doi:
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