Comparison of Causes of Death after Heart Transplantation in Patients with Left Ventricular Ejection Fractions ≤35% Versus >35%

Edo Y. Birati, Hansie Mathelier, Maria Molina, Thomas C. Hanff, Jeremy A. Mazurek, Pavan Atluri, Michael A. Acker, J. Eduardo Rame, Kenneth B. Margulies, Lee R. Goldberg, Mariell Jessup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a common cause of death in the general population, occurring in 300,000 to 350,000 people in the United States alone. Currently, there are no data supporting implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy in patients who underwent orthotopic heart transplant (OHT) with low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). In this retrospective study, we included all patients who underwent primary OHT at our institution from 2007 to 2013. We compared the cause of death in patients who underwent OHT and evaluated the correlation of the cause of death and the patients' LVEF. Our objectives were to determine whether patients who underwent OHT with LVEF <35% are at increased risk for SCD compared with those who underwent OHT with normal LVEF. To summarize our results, a total of 345 patients were included in our study (mean age 50 ± 14 years, 68% men). The mean follow-up was 1,260 ± 698 days. Forty patients (11.5%) died >6 months after OHT. Surviving patients had higher LVEF compared with deceased patients (64 ± 7% and 50 ± 24%, respectively, p ≤0.001). In all, 10 (25%) of the deceased patients died suddenly, 9 (23%) from sepsis, and 8 (20%) from malignancy. Of the 11 deceased patients with LVEF ≤35%, 2 patients (18%) died suddenly compared with 9 SCDs among the 29 deceased patients (31%) with LVEF >35% (p = 0.54). In conclusion, patients who underwent OHT who died were more likely to have LVEF <35%, and a quarter of the deceased patients who underwent OHT died suddenly. A reduced LVEF was not associated with an increased risk of SCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1322-1326
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


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