NYMC Faculty Publications

High-Risk Pulmonary Hypertension Does Not Worsen Outcomes in Heart Transplantation

Author Type(s)

Resident/Fellow, Faculty

Journal Title

The American Journal of Cardiology

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Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date




Second Department



Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a relative contraindication to heart transplantation (HT). Multiple studies showed increased mortality in patients with PH. Advances in care may have led to improved outcomes in the modern era. We analyzed patients who underwent HT at our institution between 2014 and 2018. We divided patients into 2 groups based on the presence of high-risk PH defined as either pulmonary vascular resistance >3 Wood units or transpulmonary gradient >15 mm Hg. The primary outcome was survival. Secondary outcomes were post-HT morbidity and changes in hemodynamics. Subsequently, we analyzed national trends of single organ HT recipients with a high-risk PH between 1994 and 2018 from the United Network for Organ Sharing registry. Of 98 patients who underwent HT at our center, 32% had PH. In patients without and with PH, the survival was 100% at 30 days, 87%, and 81% at 3 years (p = 0.96). In both groups, pulmonary vascular resistance and trans-pulmonary gradient decreased after HT. Nationwide data revealed 30-day survival without and with PH at 97% and 98% (p = 0.47) and 3-year survival at 86% and 87% (p = 0.84), respectively, in 2018. The proportion of recipients with PH decreased from 25% in 1994 to 19% in 2018. Recipients of HT with and without high-risk PH had similar early and late mortality in a single-center and nationwide analysis. PH improved immediately after transplant. The United Network for Organ Sharing registry analysis demonstrates continued improvement in survival in patients with PH in the modern era, whereas the relative percentage of recipients with PH decreased over time.