Heart transplantation in females: the experience in Puerto Rico.

Hector L. Banchs, Velda González, Iván González Cancel, Cid Quintana, Rafael Calderón, Pablo I. Altieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Heart transplantation is the procedure of choice for a selected group of patients with end stage heart disease. Gender related differences have been observed in the heart transplant field: less women than men are recipients of heart transplants, more risk of rejection in female recipients, and a perception toward reduced survival in women. We report our experience of heart transplantation in females in Puerto Rico. METHODS: We studied the data bank of 69 heart transplant recipients in the Puerto Rico Heart Transplant Program from June 1999 to June 2005. Gender related differences in the number of recipients: males or females, incidence of rejection, survival, and other outcomes were analyzed. RESULTS: 69 patients received an orthotopic heart transplant from June 1999 to June 2005, in a single center in Puerto Rico. The mean age of the patients was 47 (11-62) years. Fifty patients (72%) were men, and 19 patients (28%), were women. Survival in the female group at 3 months, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years was 100%, 100%, 100%, 100%, 90%, and 90% respectively. The survival in the male group at 3 months, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years was 97%, 97%, 97%, 94%, 86 and 79% respectively. There was an early, higher incidence of rejection in women during the first three months post transplant; 1.5 vs. 0.75, (P=0.04) episodes per patient in the female, and male group respectively. After the third month post transplant there was no significant difference in rejection incidence. The incidence of infectious episodes was significantly more frequent in female than in male recipients, 2.8 vs. 1 (P=0.02) per patient respectively. CONCLUSIONS: There were more male than female heart transplant recipients at a ratio of 3:1, without a significant gender difference in survival. The risk of rejection was higher in females in the early period post transplantation, but thereafter this risk showed no signinificant statistical difference. The incidence of infection was more frequent in female than in male recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalBoletín de la Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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