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For Second Year in a Row, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Sets New Standard for Most U.S. Heart Transplants

Cedars-Sinai Leads the Nation in Heart Transplantation for Fifth Consecutive Year

Los Angeles - April 8, 2015 – The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute completed 120 adult heart transplants and two adult heart-lung transplants in 2014, setting a new national standard for the most adult heart transplants performed in a single year.

The annual transplant statistics were compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the U.S. transplant system and collects data on every transplant performed in the nation.

During 2014, Cedars-Sinai surgeons completed 120 adult heart transplants and two adult heart-lung transplants, for a total of 122 adult heart transplants in a single year. The previous year, Cedars-Sinai surgeons performed 117 adult heart transplants and two adult heart-lung transplants. Until then, the most heart transplants performed at a single medical center in one year was 98, a record set in 2005.

Cedars-Sinai's leadership in heart transplantation also extends to the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. The device is implanted in patients suffering from end-stage biventricular (both heart chambers) heart failure. It is a bridge to transplant for patients who otherwise might not live long enough on the organ transplant waiting list to receive a heart transplant. In 2013, Cedars-Sinai surgeons implanted 23 Total Artificial Hearts, and in 2014, 24 devices. According to SynCardia, Cedars-Sinai implanted more of these devices during 2013 and 2014 than any other SynCardia Certified Center worldwide.

"Heart failure continues to plague Western society at an epidemic pace, and transplantation is the last best hope for patients who suffer from advanced disease," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. "For the past five years at Cedars-Sinai, we have done more heart transplants annually than any other center. Our patients benefit from this immense experience, which translates to superior outcomes in terms of survival and quality of life."

Since the Heart Transplant Program was established in 1988, 1,097 patients have undergone heart transplantation at Cedars-Sinai.

"These patients were given a second chance at life because of the generosity of those who signed up to be organ donors," said 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. "Last year, there were approximately 29,500 transplants in the U.S. That sounds wonderful until you realize that there are more than 123,000 Americans on the organ transplant waiting list. We need to encourage more people to sign up as organ donors."

Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program and the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine, said, "This landmark achievement is accompanied by outstanding outcomes, with one-year survival rates of approximately 90 percent. It is gratifying to see so many lives saved and to see these patients return to an excellent quality of life. The success of our program is due to an outstanding team effort and due to the leading-edge technology, like the artificial heart and other devices used in our program."

The new heart transplant statistics underscore the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute's tradition of expertise and innovation, dating back to the 1920s, when it installed Los Angeles' first electrocardiogram machine. In the 1950s, Cedars-Sinai doctors were first to use thrombolytic enzymes to dissolve blood clots in the heart and were first to describe vasospastic 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, heart rhythm expert Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, hypertension specialist Ronald Victor, MD, advanced heart failure specialist Kobashigawa and general cardiology and stem cell expert Tim Henry, MD, rounded out the institute's senior leadership. Other key programs include the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center led by Noel Bairey Merz, MD, cardiothoracic surgery led by Alfredo Trento, MD and the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program led by Evan Zahn, MD, and Alistair Phillips, MD. The physicians in the innovative endovascular interventional cardiology program led by Raj Makkar, MD have performed more minimally invasive heart valve repairs and replacements than any other medical center.

Senior leadership of the heart transplant team includes Fardad Esmailian, MD, surgical director of the institute's Heart Transplant Program; Francisco Arabia, MD, surgical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program; Lawrence Czer, MD, and Jignesh Patel, MD, PhD, medical co-directors of Heart Transplant; Michele Hamilton, MD, director of the Heart Failure Program and Jaime Moriguchi, MD, medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program.