High-risk donor hearts linked to better patient survival rates
Patients waiting for a heart transplant often wait for a healthy heart. But a new study shows that transplant from an ailing donor can also lead to better transplant outcomes, shows a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
For patients, accepting an organ that has a greater risk of transmitting disease potentially can offer a higher one-year survival rate. On the other hand, the survival rate is lower when patients choose to wait for an organ with less risk, says the study.
Increased risk donors are those who carry a greater risk for inadvertently transmitting the disease to the recipient, including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. “For patients with end-stage heart failure, heart transplantation is not only the gold-standard of care but an increasingly-utilised therapy by clinicians treating these patients,” said Michael S Mulvihill, MD, a surgical research fellow in the division of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Duke University.
Patients who accepted the initial increased risk donor offer had 92.1% survival rates after one year compared to 83.1% for those who declined, shows the research. And the benefit persisted even after five years.