Impact of donation after circulatory death heart transplantation on waitlist outcomes and transplantation activity

Marian Urban, Morgan Moody, Elizabeth Lyden, Lecia Kinen, Anthony W. Castleberry, Aleem Siddique, Brian D. Lowes, Douglas A. Stoller, Scott W. Lungren, John Y. Um

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Donation after circulatory death (DCD) heart transplantation has been shown to have comparable outcomes to transplantation using brain death donors (DBDs). This study evaluates the impact of this alternative source of allografts on waitlist mortality and transplant volume. Methods: We compared waitlist mortality and transplant rates in patients who were registered before (2019 period) and after we adopted DCD heart transplantation (2021 period). Results: We identified 111 patients who were on the waiting list in 2019 and 77 patients who were registered during 2021. Total number of donor organ offers received in 2019 was 385 (178 unique donors) versus 3450 (1145 unique donors) in 2021. More than 40% of all donors in 2021 were DCDs. Waitlist mortality was comparable for patients in 2019 and 2021 (18/100 person-years in 2019 vs. 26/100 person-years in 2021, p =.49). The transplant rate was 67/100 person-years in 2019 versus 207/100 person-years in 2021 (p <.001). After adjusting for acuity status, gender, blood type, and weight, patients listed in 2021 had 2.08 times greater chance of transplantation compared to patients listed in 2019 (HR 2.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26–3.45, p =.004). Conclusions: Use of DCD donor hearts significantly increased heart transplant rate in our institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14942
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • brain death
  • heart transplantation
  • waiting list

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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