Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2007; 55: S147-S167
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-965414
Position Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Alternatives to Heart Transplantation

Symposium of the “Treatment of End-Stage Heart and Lung Failure” Working Group on October 22, 2005 in MunichM. Strüber1 , R. Lange2 , J. F. Gummert3 , F. Beyersdorf4 , M. Jurmann5 , C. Schmid6 , A. El Banayosy7 , U. C. Hoppe8 , G. Steinbeck9 , H. Reichenspurner10 , A. Liebold11 , W.-M. Franz9 , A. Ruhparwar1 , M. Schmoeckel12
  • 1Herz-, Thorax-, Transplantantions- u. Gefäßchirurgie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
  • 2Klinik für Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie, Deutsches Herzzentrum München
  • 3Klinik für Herz- und Thoraxchirurgie, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
  • 4Abteilung für Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie, Universität Freiburg
  • 5Klinik für Herz-, Thorax- und Gefäßchirurgie, Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin
  • 6Klinik und Poliklinik für Herz-, Thorax- und herznahe Gefäßchirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Regensburg
  • 7Klinik für Thorax- und Gefäßchirurgie, Herz und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bad Oeynhausen
  • 8Klinik III für Innere Medizin, Universität zu Köln
  • 9Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I Großhadern der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • 10Klinik und Poliklinik für Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie des Universitären Herzzentrums Hamburg
  • 11Klinik und Poliklinik für Herzchirurgie der Universität Rostock
  • 12Herzchirurgische Klinik am Klinikum Großhadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
31 August 2007 (online)


Heart transplantation is currently the treatment of first choice in patients with end-stage refractory heart failure. But already the demand for donor organs cannot be met, and patients face long waiting times for transplantation. In the future waiting times will become even longer as life expectancy increases and the number of heart-failure patients requiring transplantation grows. Consequently, in view of the poor prognosis of the disease in its advanced stages, alternatives to heart transplantation are increasingly gaining importance. In recent years new innovative treatment methods and techniques have been developed which have already proved clinically successful in patients with end-stage heart failure, especially as bridging measures. Some of these techniques appear suitable for long-term use and could therefore serve as an alternative to heart transplantation in some patients. Interesting new avenues of research may even lead to cardiac cell replacement therapies in the future. These approaches are currently undergoing initial clinical trials. This report presents surgical and cardiologic treatments for end-stage heart failure that have already been clinically investigated as well as techniques that are still in the preclinical stage and discusses their potential as alternatives to heart transplantation.


PD Dr. M. Strüber

Herz-, Thorax-, Transplantations- und Gefäßchirurgie
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover

Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1

30625 Hannover


Email: [email protected]