Heart transplantation classification

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Heart transplantation Microchapters


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Criteria for Cardiac Transplantation

Equitable Distribution of Donor Hearts to those Awaiting Transplantation and the Process of Being Listed for a Transplant


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ifrah Fatima, M.B.B.S[2]


Cardiac Transplantation may be classified according to the surgical procedure performed into Orthotopic procedure and Heterotropic Procedure.


Cardiac Transplantation may be classified according to the surgical procedure performed into:[1]

  • Orthotopic Transplant
  • Heterotropic Transplant

Orthotopic Procedure

In the orthotopic procedure a median sternotomy is done to expose the mediastinum. After opening the pericardium, the great vessels including the superior vena cava, inferior vena cava, pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein and aorta are dissected and cardiopulmonary bypass is attached. The diseased heart is taken out after transecting the great vessels and a part of the left atrium. The pulmonary veins are not transected; rather a circular portion of the left atrium containing the pulmonary veins is left in place. The donor heart is now fit onto the patient's remaining left atrium and great vessels. The transplanted heart is started after slowly weaning the patient from cardiopulmonary bypass. The procedure is completed by closing the chest cavity.[2] [3]

Heterotopic procedure

In the heterotopic procedure, the diseased heart is left in place and the donor heart is implanted. The donor heart is placed in a way to have the chambers and blood vessels of both hearts connected. This results in something to the effect of a 'double heart'. In this way, the patient's original heart can be given a chance to recover. Therefore, even if the donor heart fails, it is removed to allow the patient's original heart to start working again. Heterotopic procedure is advantageous when the donor heart is not strong enough to function independently. This may be due to various reasons such as disproportionate body size of the patient and donor, the donor heart being weak, or pulmonary hypertension in the patient.[4] [2] [3]


  1. Flécher E, Fouquet O, Ruggieri VG, Chabanne C, Lelong B, Leguerrier A (2013). "Heterotopic heart transplantation: where do we stand?". Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 44 (2): 201–6. doi:10.1093/ejcts/ezt136. PMID 23487534.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jungschleger JGM, Boldyrev SY, Kaleda VI, Dark JH (2018). "Standard orthotopic heart transplantation". Ann Cardiothorac Surg. 7 (1): 169–171. doi:10.21037/acs.2018.01.18. PMC 5827120. PMID 29492395.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Baumgartner WA, Reitz BA, Oyer PE, Stinson EB, Shumway NE (1979). "Cardiac homotransplantation". Curr Probl Surg. 16 (9): 1–61. doi:10.1016/s0011-3840(79)80010-6. PMID 387341.
  4. Konertz W, Sheikhzadeh A, Weyand M, Friedl A, Bernhard A (1988). "Heterotopic heart transplantation: current indications for the procedure, with results in 10 patients". Tex Heart Inst J. 15 (3): 159–62. PMC 324818. PMID 15227245.

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