Heart transplantation

Nicholas R. Banner, Andre R. Simon and Margaret M. Burke

in Oxford Textbook of Heart Failure

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199577729
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199697809 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Heart transplantation

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  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery


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Clinical organ transplantation began in the mid-20th century, initially with renal transplants. Surgical techniques for heart transplantation began to be developed during the same period particularly byCass and Brock in the United Kingdom, and Lower and Shumway in the United States. The drugs then available for prophylaxis against rejection were limited to corticosteroids and azathioprine. The first human heart transplant was performed in 1967; the story of the pioneers in this field has been told elsewhere. The initial results of clinical heart transplantation were disappointing because of relatively ineffective pharmacological immunosuppression, lack of effective monitoring for acute rejection, and lack of therapeutic options for complications including infection and cardiac allograft vasculopathy. The results of organ transplantation improved dramatically following the introduction of ciclosporin as an immunosuppressive agent, first for kidney transplantation and subsequently for the heart and other organs.

Chapter.  11701 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiothoracic Surgery ; Transplant Surgery

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