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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2015 August;56(4):661-9

language: English

Cardiac failure, transplantation and donation: current perspectives

Ashraf O. 1, Sharif H. 2

1 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside, Queensland, Australia;
2 Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan


Cardiac failure remains a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Multiple treatment options exist and have variable safety and reliability. Stem cell grafting and left ventricular assist device implantation are two of the promising recent techniques that have a bright future as transient and permanent therapies for end-stage heart failure. For the moment though they serve largely as bridges to cardiac transplantation, the definitive management of the failing heart. Cardiac transplantation itself is facing a number of challenges that limit its widespread usage globally. This review aims to obtain current perspectives on heart failure treatment, particularly among the three abovementioned modalities, whilst highlighting briefly some of the other novel treatment alternatives emerging globally. A comprehensive review of literature is undertaken from the past few years to understand the recent advancements, knowledge and research trends in this arena. An attempt is also made to understand the factors limiting the employment of modern management principles in the treatment of heart failure in the developing world, with particular emphasis on cardiac donation and transplantation; and the steps that could be taken to improve the desperately low recipient to donor ratio across the globe.

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