Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Cardiac transplantation was carried out on four patients at the Medical College of Virginia between May and October of 1968, in an effort to salvage them from the terminal stages of otherwise uncorrectable heart disease. Despite a strikingly good early recovery from operation in each case, three of the patients died of acute homograft rejection in one to three weeks; our second case is living and well, ten months after operation, and is at this writing the world's third longest survivor. The world experience to June of 1969 includes about 130 cardiac transplants. Of the first 100 patients operated on over six months ago, 20 are surviving, and the majority of these have returned to a productive existence, demonstrating the feasibility of complete rehabilitation of at least some terminal patients after cardiac transplantation. The high mortality rate--significantly higher than was anticipated--has resulted from acute and chronic homograft rejection and from the equally difficult problem of infection. Certain lessons have been learned from our own experience and from the world experience with this procedure, and these will be reviewed in an attempt to establish the current status and future potential of cardiac transplantation.
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VCU University Archives