Heart Transplantation at the Heart Center North Rhine-Westfalia.
Tenderich G, Zittermann A, Schulz U, Schulte-Eistrup S, Schleithoff SS, Wlost S, Körfer R.
Clinical Transplants 2008, Chapter 15
At the Heart Center North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany, more than 1,500 adult cardiac transplantations and more than 100 pediatric cardiac transplantations have been performed since the transplant program was initiated in 1989. Each year, we take care of 800 cardiac transplant recipients and 1,700 patients with heart failure who are in a long-term program for cardiac transplantation or on the Eurotransplant waiting list for cardiac transplantation. We have experience with ventricular assist device implantation as bridge to transplant in more than 300 patients. In total, our clinical know-how with cardiac transplant recipients is based on 10,800 patient-years of observation. In 2006, we transplanted the first donor heart worldwide with the Organ Care System, a technology capable of maintaining human organs in a functioning state ex-vivo. Usually, our transplant recipients have more preoperative risk factors than cardiac transplant recipients at other German heart centers. Our postoperative patient care is individualized with respect to immunosuppression and the performance of myocardial biopsies and coronary angiography. Since 1989, we have performed 31 cardiac retransplantations.