Successful use of undersized donors for orthotopic heart transplantation-with a caveat

Lorne H. Blackbourne, Curtis G. Tribble, Scott E. Langenburg, Kimberly N. Sinclair, G. Bino Rucker, Barry B.K. Chan, William D. Spotnitz, James D. Bergin, Irving L. Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Accepted clinical practice has been to require body weights to be within 20% as a criterion for matching donor to recipient for cardiac transplantation. From November 1989 through September 1993 we began accepting larger differences in body weight between donor and recipient with 80 orthotopic heart transplants performed. Twenty-eight of these transplants used undersized donors (donor-to-recipient body weight ratio [DRBW] of 0.6 to 0.8) with the remaining donors being either size matched (DRBW = 0.8 to 1.0) or oversized (DRBW > 1.0). Thirty-three of the 80 transplant recipients (41%) were classified preoperatively as United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) status I and the remaining patients were classified as UNOS status II. Hospital survival for status I recipients was 9 of 14 (64%) for undersized mors, 7 of 8 (87.5%) for sized-matched donors, and 11 of 11 (100%) for oversized donors (p < 0.05). Hospital survival for status II recipients was 12 of 14 (85.7%) for undersized donors, 24 of 24 (100%) for sizedmatched donors, and 8 of 9 (88.8%) for oversized donors. Our data support the continued use of hearts from undersized donors in status II recipients. The use of hearts from undersized donors in status I recipients is associated with increased mortality compared with sizematched donors and must be undertaken with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1472-1476
Number of pages5
JournalThe Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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