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Heart Transplant Selection Criteria at University Hospitals

Each person’s journey to transplant is unique. You may need a heart transplant if your heart is failing and other treatments do not work.

Make an Appointment

To request an appointment with a transplant specialist, call 440-623-7709.

Make a Referral

Conditions Considered for Transplant Evaluation

A diagnosis of heart failure means the heart muscle is not able to pump blood normally because it is damaged, very weak, or both.

End-stage heart failure is the final stage of heart failure. The heart muscle is failing severely in its attempt to pump blood through the body. At this stage, when other treatments no longer work, a patient may be considered for heart transplantation.

Some causes of heart failure include:

  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI)
  • Viral infection of the heart muscle
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart defects present at birth (congenital)
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension)
  • Alcoholism or substance abuse
  • Enlarged, thick and stiff heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)

Your doctor may have other reasons to recommend a heart transplant as a treatment option.

Patients with end-stage heart failure or other severe heart conditions will undergo a thorough evaluation to help determine if they are a good candidate for heart transplant.

Who Doesn’t Qualify for a Heart Transplant?

Not all patients are candidates for heart transplant. The following conditions may complicate a heart transplant or make it less likely to succeed:

  • Malignancy (cancer)
  • Active infections
  • Unstable psychiatric disorders
  • Evidence of poor compliance
  • Active alcohol or substance abuse, including smoking
  • Lack of caregiver support and/or transportation