A doctor stands by a person and conducts an imaging test Mayo Clinic doctors use imaging tests to detect coronary artery disease

Mayo doctors may use imaging tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) to monitor for signs of narrowing and blockages in the coronary arteries.

Mayo Clinic cardiologists, cardiac and thoracic surgeons, and other specialists develop heart transplant insights and innovations that make transplants safer and available to more people. And they pursue new strategies and technologies in pediatric heart failure and pediatric heart transplantation.

Mayo Clinic's team in Arizona pioneered use of cardiac mechanical assist devices, improving patients' quality of life while on the waiting list for a donor heart. They continue to study smaller models of ventricular assist devices (VADs) and total artificial hearts and how to improve the patient experience with these devices.

Mayo Clinic researchers also conduct laboratory studies, clinical trials and other research on every aspect of conditions related to heart transplants, such as:

  • Developing new drug regimens to improve outcomes. Mayo Clinic heart doctors (cardiologists) have shown possible benefits of a drug called sirolimus (Rapamune) to long-term survival after heart transplant. Sirolimus is a drug that keeps the body from rejecting the new heart by suppressing the body's immune response.
  • Assessing women's risks after heart transplant. Mayo doctors reported that women who have heart transplants are at higher risk of complications that affect long-term survival than are men.
  • Evaluating multiorgan treatment practices. Mayo Clinic doctors evaluated and shared insights from Mayo's experience with 27 combined heart-liver transplants, an uncommonly performed surgery. Their report highlights how this lifesaving surgery can help people with congenital or acquired heart disease.
  • Advancing care of people with amyloidosis. Mayo doctors shared their strategies for improving outcomes of people undergoing heart transplants due to cardiac amyloidosis and sarcoidosis.
  • Developing new stem cell therapies (regenerative medicine). Success in this work could help people with heart failure avoid transplant altogether.
  • Developing genomic blood tests to watch for early signs of rejection in transplant organs. The goal of this research is to improve long-term survival after transplant.
  • Developing new treatment options for children with congenital heart disease. Read more about the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Mayo Clinic's scientists and doctors often collaborate with colleagues throughout the United States and internationally, sharing their medical advances to improve patient care everywhere.

You may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. Read more about heart transplant research in the Transplant Research Center and the Cardiovascular Research Center.


See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Aug. 23, 2016
  1. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Accessed May 13, 2016.
  2. U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News Best Hospitals 2015-16. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
  3. Cook AJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 2, 2014.
  4. Heart transplant program to resume in fall of 1986. Mayovox. 1986:37;1.
  5. Mancini D. Indications and contraindications for cardiac transplantation. Accessed April 22, 2016.
  6. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Heart transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
  7. Yip DS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. June 20, 2016.
  8. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Your child's heart transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
  9. Johnson JN (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 20, 2016.
  10. Vucicevic D, et al. Sirolimus based immunosuppression results in lower incidence of post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders in heart transplant recipients. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2015;34:s86.
  11. Kalya A, et al. Role of total artificial heart in the management of heart transplant rejection and retransplantation: Case report and review. Clinical Transplantation. 2013;27:e348.
  12. Shankar N, et al. LVAD implant as a bridge to heart transplantation is associated with allosensitization as measured by single antigen bead assay. Transplantation. 2013;96:324.
  13. Barbara DW, et al. The perioperative management of patients undergoing combined heart-liver transplantation. Transplantation. 2015;99:139.
  14. Burkhart HM, et al. Regenerative therapy for hypoplastic left heart syndrome: First report of intraoperative intramyocardial injection of autologous umbilical-cord blood-derived cells. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2015;149:e35. Accessed May 5, 2016.
  15. Pundi KN, et al. 40-year follow-up after the Fontan operation: Long-term outcomes of 1,052 patients. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2015;66:1700.
  16. Rosenbaum AN, et al. Current indications, strategies and outcomes with cardiac transplantation for cardiac amyloidosis and sarcoidosis. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation. 2015;20:584.
  17. Grupper A, et al. Increased risk of antibody mediated rejection and subsequent allograft vasculopathy in women post cardiac transplantation. Journal of Women's Health. 2015;24:A-16.
  18. Rosenbaum AN, et al. Association between early cardiac rehabilitation and long-term survival in cardiac transplant recipients. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2016;91:149.
  19. Medical practice report: Heart transplant. Press Ganey. Accessed May 24, 2016.
  20. Khandhar SJ, et al. Optical coherence tomography for characterization of cardiac allograft vasculopathy after heart transplantation. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2013;32:596.
  21. Mayo Clinic Children's Center becomes first accredited pediatric heart failure institute in Minnesota and fourth in the nation (news release). Accessed June 27, 2016.
  22. Doctors name America's top residency programs (news release). U.S. News & World Report. Accessed June 27, 2016.
  23. Centers of excellence. Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. Accessed June 27, 2016.
  24. Heilman RL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. June 24, 2016.