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October 1972

A Perspective on Cardiac Transplantation

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif

Arch Surg. 1972;105(4):548-549. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180100003002

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The mention of cardiac transplantation continues to elicit emotional comment from otherwise calm and studious clinicians and philosophers. For example, an editor of a leading medical journal has written a letter to Life magazine (Oct 8, 1971, p 26A) reiterating his belief that clinical cardiac transplantation should not be done until rejection is "solved," basing his opinion on the publication in that magazine of an abstract from a popular book by a nonscience lay writer, whose experience was limited to a single Texas city.

A review of the scientific data published in medical journals reveals, however, that the real situation with respect to heart transplantation is that it is neither a nostrum that has been exposed, nor a surgical panacea for heart disease. Indeed, we interpret the data as indicating that cardiac transplantation, despite several still poorly understood phenomena, is now a therapeutic modality for use in selected patients with

Lower RR, Dong E, Glazener FS:  Electrocardiograms of dogs with heart homografts . Circulation 33:455-460, 1966.Article
Griepp RB, Stinson EB, Dong E, et al:  Acute rejection of the allografted human heart: Diagnosis and treatment . Ann Thorac Surg 12:113-126, 1971.Article
Griepp RB, Stinson EB, Dong E, et al:  Hemodynamic performance of the transplanted human heart . Surgery 70:88-96, 1971.
 ACS/NIH organ transplant registry: First scientific report . JAMA 217:1520-1529, 1971.Article
 The ninth report of the human renal transplant registry. Advisory Committee to the Renal Transplant Registry . JAMA 220:253-260, 1972.Article