The heterotopic heart transplant was pioneered by Christian Barnard in the late 1970s as a way to treat acute rejection in the pre-cyclosporine era. The technique was also used for the treatment of severe pulmonary hypertension, in patients unable to have an orthotopic heart transplant. Some surgeons have used the heterotopic heart transplant as a way to increase the donor heart pool around the world in more recent years. The heterotopic heart transplant is a good viable option for severe pulmonary hypertension patients, and, severe pulmonary vascular resistance patients, who would otherwise, not qualify for an orthotopic heart transplant. The outcomes for these recipients have been comparable to survival outcomes for similar orthotopic heart transplant recipients.
Part of the book: Heart Transplantation