AHA Logo Patients suffering from heart disorders may be subjected to a transplant surgery. Investigators claim that transplant surgery recommended for correcting the most common type of genetic heart disease produces similar short-term and potentially greater long-term survival rates as transplant surgery for other heart diseases. With almost half a million people in the United States with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the findings seem to be greatly beneficial.

Similar survival rates were supposedly discovered by experts a year after heart transplant surgery. Survival rates were reported by 85 percent of HCM patients and 82 percent patients with other kinds of heart disease. After five years of the surgery, survival rates appeared to be 75 percent of HCM and 70 percent of other patients surviving. After 10 years the survival rates in both groups decreased, but is assumed to remain greatly higher in the HCM patients forming 61 percent than in those with other heart diseases comprising 49 percent.

Martin S. Maron, M.D., lead author and assistant professor of medicine, director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, and co-director of Advanced Cardiac Imaging at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass affirmed, “Patients with this disease who are undergoing transplant can expect reasonable long-term survival rates. That’s a crucial clinical message for this small but important subgroup of patients.”

Inflammation of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) is considered as a serious, potentially fatal disease that can restrict the heart from pumping blood effectively. In patients with HCM, the second most common form of heart muscle disease, the pumping chamber of the heart known as the left ventricle is assumed to thicken (hypertrophies). Experts elucidate that these hypertrophies make the ventricle stiff and less able to relax and for blood to fill the heart chambers.

During the study, investigators employed the United Network of Organ Sharing Registry which encompasses a nationwide database of all U.S. transplant patients. Information about 26,706 adult patients’ clinical and survival characteristics was achieved from this registry. It was observed that 1 percent of all U.S. heart transplant cases are undertaken on HCM patients. Still the survival rate may be comparable to surgeries for other reasons.

Among the study subjects 81 percent were whites, 79 percent were males with an average age of 52 years. It was mentioned that while more than half were women, the average age in HCM patients was 43 years. Almost one-third representing 31 percent of participants reported smoking. This rate was apparently very much lower among those with HCM and only 17 percent were addicted to this habit. These patients were subjected to a heart transplant between January 1990 and December 2004. Since the symptoms of this disorder seemingly differ, in some cases they may be mild enough to go unnoticed. It was noted that in other cases this disease may trigger heart failure.

The study was published in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.