Patients with restrictive or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (RCM/HCM) and congenital heart disease (CHD) do not derive clinical benefit from inotropes and mechanical circulatory support. Concerns were expressed that the new heart allocation system implemented in October 2018 would disadvantage these patients. This paper aimed to examine the impact of the new adult heart allocation system on transplantation and outcomes among patients with RCM/HCM/CHD.
We identified adult patients with RCM/HCM/CHD in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database who were listed for or received a cardiac transplant from April 2017-June 2020. The cohort was separated into those listed before and after allocation system changes. Demographics and recipient characteristics, donor characteristics, waitlist survival, and post-transplantation outcomes were analyzed.
The number of patients listed for RCM/HCM/CHD increased after the allocation system change from 429 to 517. Prior to the change, the majority RCM/HCM/CHD patients were Status 1A at time of transplantation; afterwards, most were Status 2. Wait times decreased significantly for all: RCM (41 days vs 27 days; P<0.05), HCM (55 days vs 38 days; P<0.05), CHD (81 days vs 49 days; P<0.05). Distance traveled increased for all: RCM (76 mi. vs 261 mi, P<0.001), HCM (88 mi. vs 231 mi. P<0.001), CHD (114 mi vs 199 mi, P<0.05). Rates of transplantation were higher for RCM and CHD (P<0.01), whereas post-transplant survival remained unchanged.
The new allocation system has had a positive impact on time to transplantation of patients with RCM, HCM, and CHD without negatively influencing survival.