Nav: Home

New findings enable more heart donations

September 26, 2019

There is a risk of every fourth heart examined for possible donation being dismissed as unusable due to stress-induced heart failure. But this condition, according to new research, has no bearing on the outcome of a transplant. These results open the way for up to 30% more heart transplant.

"Systematic utilization of these hearts would mean a breakthrough for heart transplantation, as more patients could be accepted for transplantation," says Jonatan Oras, senior lecturer at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and specialist physician in anesthesia and intensive care at the University Hospital.

The study, published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, is based on particulars of 641 potential heart donors in Sweden in the years 2006-2016. Either these people, who had been declared brain-dead, had said yes to donation during their lives or their survivors had given the go-ahead.

As many as 24% of potential donors had acute stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome, in which cardiac function is impaired in one part of the heart, while the other parts beats normally. This condition is caused by the massive surge in stress hormones observed in the course of brain death.

The functional impairment appears to be transient: Within a few hours or days, the heart recovers. Nevertheless, there are recommendations that these hearts should not be transplanted.

The selection process therefore varies from one location to another. To date, the transplantation center in Gothenburg has had favourable clinical experience of transplanting hearts with stress-induced heart failure, and there were 42 such cases in the current study.

The results show that when the donors' hearts had been subject to stress-induced heart failure, the outcomes for recipients were no different. Neither was mortality affected; rather, it conformed to the expected 20% rate in both groups after ten years.

"The impairment in cardiac function seems to be temporary and is not caused by coronary artery disease or other heart disease. This fact fits well with stress-induced heart failure. When we repeatedly examine these hearts, we see that their function recovers quickly," Oras says.

More studies are to follow the current one, to verify the results. Ending disqualification of donors with stress-induced heart failure is seen as especially urgent, since the condition arises more often in young people, whose hearts are otherwise well suited for donation.

"We estimate that the supply of donor hearts could be increased by 20-30% if these hearts are used," Oras concludes.
-end-
Title: Left ventricular dysfunction in potential heart donors and its influence on recipient outcomes; https://www.jtcvs.org/article/S0022-5223(19)31369-8/fulltext

University of Gothenburg

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.