Heart Transplantation in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Positive Patients

Nir Uriel, Ulrich P. Jorde, Vlad Cotarlan, Paolo C. Colombo, Maryjane Farr, Susan W. Restaino, Katherine Lietz, Yoshifuma Naka, Mario C. Deng, Donna Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is widely considered a contraindication for cardiac transplantation. However, with the newer anti-retroviral drugs, the estimated 10-year survival after seroconversion is exceeds 90%. This case series describes the intermediate range outcome of HIV-positive cardiac transplant recipients. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 1679 cardiac transplant patients was undertaken to identify HIV-positive recipients. Results: Seven patients were identified. Five (4 men) were diagnosed with HIV before transplantation and 2 patients seroconverted after transplantation. Dilated cardiomyopathy was the indication for transplant in all patients. The 5 HIV recipients were aged 42 ± 8 years, and time after HIV seroconversion averaged 9.5 years. All underwent cardiac transplantation as high-risk candidates. The CD4 count was 554 ± 169 cells/μl, and viral load was undetectable in all patients at the time of transplantation. Two patients seroconverted to HIV-positive status at 1 and 7 years after transplant. No AIDS-defining illness was observed in any patient before or after transplant. Six patients received highly active anti-retroviral therapy. Viral load remained low in the presence of immunosuppression. All patients are alive with a follow-up from transplant of 57 ± 78.9 months. Conclusion: Excellent intermediate term outcome is noted in carefully selected HIV-positive patients. No significant AIDS-related infections or complications occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-669
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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