01:00 AM

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Ranked First Nationally in 2011 Adult Heart Transplants

Los Angeles – April 3, 2012 – For the second year in a row, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and Comprehensive Transplant Center performed the most adult heart transplants of any U.S. medical center, according to government statistics.

In 2011, Cedars-Sinai surgeons performed heart transplants on 87 patients and heart and lung transplants on two patients, making the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute the leader among the 116 U.S. medical centers that performed adult heart transplants that year. The official statistics were compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the nation’s transplant system.

“Cedars-Sinai’s commitment to the patient with advanced heart failure is unmatched,” said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Mark S. Siegel Family Professor.  “We are the No. 1 heart transplant program in the world; our outcomes are superior; we have a dedicated inpatient unit specializing in pre- and post-transplant care; and we continue to develop new stem cell-based approaches as future alternatives to transplantation and devices.

"During the previous year at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, 75 heart transplant patients and one heart-and-lung transplant patient received new organs. Since 1988, when the Heart Transplant Program was established, 741 patients have undergone heart transplantation.

Andrew S. Klein, MD, MBA, director of the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and the Esther and Mark Schulman Chair of Surgery and Transplant Medicine, said, “Providing the highest quality care for patients with heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, or lung failure is an institutional priority.  “The collaborative efforts of more than 300 doctors, scientists and staff within the Comprehensive Transplant Center have been life-saving and quality of life improving for  rapidly growing numbers of patients at Cedars-Sinai.  The opportunity to be a part of this transformative process is a gift.”

Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program and the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine, said, “Every physician, nurse and researcher on our team has a deep commitment to achieve continued excellence in heart transplantation.  We all share the feeling that it is an honor to help our patients have a second chance at life.”

The new heart transplant statistics underscore the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute’s tradition of expertise and innovation, dating back to the 1920s, when Los Angeles’ first electrocardiogram machine was installed.  In the 1950s, Cedars-Sinai doctors were first to use thrombolytic enzymes to dissolve blood clots in the heart and were first to describe vasopastic angina syndrome.  In 1970, two Cedars-Sinai physicians invented the Swan-Ganz catheter, still used today to measure blood flow and heart pressure.

In recent years, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute has undergone rapid growth.  After Marbán became the institute’s director in 2007, the addition of heart rhythm expert Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, hypertension specialist Ronald Victor, MD, and advanced heart failure specialist Kobashigawa rounded out the Institute’s senior leadership.

In November 2011, Marbán published results from a groundbreaking clinical trial that showed treating heart attack patients with an infusion of their own cardiac stem cells helped damaged hearts re-grow healthy muscle.  Patients who underwent the stem cell procedure pioneered by Marbán demonstrated an average of 50 percent reduction in the size of the scar left on the heart muscle by a heart attack.   Patients also experienced a sizable increase in healthy heart muscle following the experimental stem cell treatments.

Other path-breaking programs include: research by P.K Shah, MD, who is developing  novel gene therapy approaches to protect against heart attacks and strokes; the unified approach to women’s heart problems pioneered by Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Women’s Heart Center; and innovative  endovascular  interventional cardiology directed Raj Makkar MD.  Cedars-Sinai interventional cardiologists participating in clinical trials have performed more catheter-based aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair procedures than doctors in any other U.S. program.

In 2010, the Heart Institute opened an innovative, first-in-California, 30-bed Advanced Heart Failure in-patient unit dedicated to providing an intensive, multidisciplinary approach to inpatient care.