Alcohol use in donors is a protective factor on recipients' outcome after heart transplantation

David J. De La Zerda, Oved Cohen, Ramin E. Beygui, John Kobashigawa, Diana Hekmat, Hillel Laks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The outcome of heart transplantation is highly influenced by good donor selection. Because a history of alcoholism is prevalent among potential heart donors, we sought to explore the effect of alcohol use in donors on the outcome of heart transplantation in the recipient. METHOD. A total of 437 consecutive patients underwent heart transplantation from January 2002 through September 2005. Patients' files were retrospectively studied. Mean follow-up period was 3.14±1.9 years (range, 3 days to 6.5 yrs). The cohort was divided into two subgroups. The alcoholic donor group (ADG) included 98 of 421 patients and the nonalcoholic donor group (NADG) included 323 of 421 patients. Mean age was 35.3±11.4 yrs (range, 18-66) for the ADG and 33±12.2 yrs (range, 18-62) for the NADG. RESULTS. Mortality among the ADG was 7 of 98 (7.1%) and for NADG was 55 of 323 (17.1%) (P=0.015). The mean interval time between transplant and mortality was, for ADG, 27.7±20.6 months (range, 0.07-51) and for NADG, 16.4±19.6 months (range, 0.14-73) (P=0.031). Survival rate was significantly higher among the ADG at 72.8±1.9 months compared with NADG at 66.2±1.5 months (P=0.019). Overall rejection rate was 22 of 421 (5.2%); rejection rate was 17 of 323 (5.2%) in NADG and 5 of 98 (5.1%) in ADG. Rejection free survival was 74.6±0.85 with no significant difference between the two groups (P=0.85). CONCLUSION. The chronic alcoholism of donors was found to be a protective factor regarding the outcome after heart transplantation. Significant differences were found in mortality rate and survival after heart transplantation between the ADG and NADG. These data support the fact that it is safe to use donors' hearts regardless of a history of alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1214-1218
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcoholic donor group
  • Chronic alcohol users
  • Heart transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol use in donors is a protective factor on recipients' outcome after heart transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this