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.