The fundamental indication for cardiac transplantation is advanced heart failure that is unresponsive to medical therapy in patients with coronary artery disease or dilated cardiomyopathy. Other potential indications include advanced valvular or congenital heart disease and, more rarely, hypertrophic or restrictive cardiomyopathy, sarcoidosis, myocarditis, and primary unresectable cardiac tumors. Determining which patients have symptoms that are truly refractory to medical therapy is difficult. Ejection fraction or clinical status during acute decompensation is not a sufficient criterion for candidacy.
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