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Mid-term follow up results of Japanese heart transplant patients operated in UCLA Medical Center

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Japanese candidates have been accepted for heart transplantation by the UCLA Medical Center in the US since 1993 due to the lack of donors available from brain-dead patients.Objectives and Methods: We monitored to patients who underwent such heart transplantation and have been seen at the out-patient clinic at Tokyo Women’s Medical University following transplantation. Pre-operative diagnosis was dilated cardiomyopathy in all patients. One patient underwent Novacor implantation as a bridge to heart transplant. All patients underwent cardiac echocardiography and cardiac catheterization including intraluminal echography.Results: All patients survived with an actuarial survival curve of 100% at 1year, 100% at 3 years and 87% at 5 years in 4.15 years of average follow-up. Two patients died due to liver dysfunction and cerebral emboli. The postoperative functional status of patients was New York Heart Association classification I in 8 (100%). Immunosuppressive therapies included triple drug therapy using either cyclosporin or tacrolimus. The incidence of acute rejection (/pt) exceeding grade 3 was 4% within three months, 3.5% in 3–6 months, and no significant rejection episode more than 6 months after transplantation. Posttransplantation coronary artery disease was seen in 2 patients, but no progression was seen after diltiazem therapy.Conclusion: Our postoperative follow-up after cardiac transplantation appears to be satisfactory.

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Author information

Correspondence to Mitsuhiro Hachida.

Additional information

Read at the Fifty-second Annual Meeting of The Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery, Panel Discussion, Sendai, October 5–7, 1999.

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Hachida, M., Nonoyama, M., Hanayama, N. et al. Mid-term follow up results of Japanese heart transplant patients operated in UCLA Medical Center. Jpn J Thorac Caridovasc Surg 48, 713–716 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03218238

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Key words

  • heart transplantation
  • immunosuppressive therapy
  • acute rejection
  • dilated cardiomyopathy