Background: Heart transplantation (HT) is the treatment of choice for patients with end-stage heart failure. The HT unit at the Sheba Medical Center is the largest of its kind in Israel.
Objectives: To evaluate the experience of HT at a single center, assess trends over 3 decades, and correlate with worldwide data.
Methods: Between 1990 and 2017, we reviewed all 285 adult HT patients. Patients were grouped by year of HT: 1990–1999 (decade 1), 2000–2009 (decade 2), and 2010–2017 (decade 3).
Results: The percentage of women undergoing HT has increased and etiology has shifted from ischemic to non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (10% vs. 25%, P = 0.033; 70% vs. 40% ischemic, for decades 1 vs. 3, respectively). Implantation of left ventricular assist device as a bridge to HT has increased. Metabolic profile has improved over the years with lower low-density lipoprotein, diabetes, and hypertension after HT (101 mg/dl, 27%, and 41% at decade 3, respectively). There has been a prominent change in immunosuppressive treatments, currently more than 90% are treated with tacrolimus, compared with 2.7% and 30.9% in decades 1 and 2, respectively (P < 0.001). Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) rates have declined significantly (47% vs. 17.5% for decades 1 and 2, P < 0.001) as have the combined endpoint of CAV/death. Similarly, the current incidence of acute rejections is significantly lower.
Conclusions: Our analysis of over 25 years of a single-center experience with HT shows encouraging improved results, which are in line with worldwide standards and experience.