CCC 2011: Effectiveness of Heart Transplantation

December 5, 2011
A review of 25 years of heart transplant cases showed that the surgical procedure is a highly effective form of treatment. Cardiac surgeon Dr. Marc Ruel presented findings from 461 Heart Institute transplant patients showing that survival rates are high. This is particularly true over the past decade, where eight-year post-procedure survival is nearing 90 per cent. Over the full period of the review, five-year survival was 75 per cent.

Used to treat end-stage heart failure, the number of heart transplants is limited by the availability of donor hearts. In 2010, 167 heart transplants were performed in Canada. The review also showed that the age of the recipient was a significant indicator of survival. For every 10-year increase in age, the survival rate dropped by 20 per cent. Gender and the prior use of ventricular assist devices did not significantly affect survival.