National decline in donor heart utilization with regional variability: 1995-2010. American journal of transplantation Khush, K. K., Zaroff, J. G., Nguyen, J., Menza, R., Goldstein, B. A. 2015; 15 (3): 642-649


The severe shortage of donor hearts limits the availability of transplantation for the growing population of patients with end-stage heart disease. We examined national trends in donor heart acceptance for transplant. OPTN data were analyzed for all potential adult cardiac organ donors between 1995 and 2010. Donor heart disposition was categorized as transplanted, declined for transplant or other. We studied changes in the probability of donor heart acceptance according to demographic and clinical characteristics, nationwide and by UNOS region. Of 82?053 potential donor hearts, 34% were accepted and 48% were declined (18% used for other purposes). There was a significant decrease in donor heart acceptance from 44% in 1995 to 29% in 2006, and subsequent increase to 32% in 2010. Older donor age, female sex and medical co-morbidities predicted non-acceptance. Donor age and co-morbidities increased during the study period, with a concomitant decrease in acceptance of hearts from donors with undesirable characteristics. Overall, predictors of heart non-use were similar across UNOS regions, although utilization varied between regions. Regional variation suggests a potential to improve heart acceptance rates in under-performing regions, and supports research and policy efforts aimed at establishing evidence-based criteria for donor heart evaluation and acceptance for transplantation.

View details for DOI 10.1111/ajt.13055

View details for PubMedID 25676093