Survival after cardiac transplantation has improved significantly over the past 3 1/2 years at our Center as compared to previous experience (Fig. 5). Currently, survival rates for 60 patients who have had heart transplantation since late in 1973 (program year mean survival +/- S.E.) are 66 percent (+/- 6.6 S.E.), 63 percent (+/- 7.0) and 58 percent (+/- 8.2) 1, 2, and 3 years after operation, respectively. In this report the major reasons for this successful trend have been summarized. These consist of transvenous endomyocardial biopsy for diagnosis and management of graft rejection, use of RATG, immunologic monitoring for early detection of impending rejection, and cardiac retransplantation in selected cases. The present expectations for survival and rehabilitation after heart transplantation are fully comparable to the current results of renal transplantation from unrelated donors. These considerations support the inclusion of cardiac transplantation as a realistic therapeutic alternative in the management of patients with advanced heart disease irremediable by standard forms of treatment.
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View details for PubMedID 347177