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UCSF Heart, Liver, Lung Transplant Survival Rates Exceed U.S. Averages

February 29, 2008
News Office: Lauren Hammit (415) 502-6397

One-year survival rates for patients receiving heart, liver and lung transplants at UCSF Medical Center exceed national averages at statistically significant levels, according to new data compiled by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

Released on Jan. 11, the report measures performance and characteristics of each transplant program at all facilities in the United States, including waiting list outcomes, post-transplant survival rates, and organ recovery and transplantation rates. Reported statistics can be found on the SRTR Web site at www.ustransplant.org.

Dr. John P. Roberts, chief of the UCSF Medical Center Transplant Service, said "The registry collects data from the nation's transplant programs and uses an algorithm they created to standardize calculations across facilities, looking at such information as how sick patients are in each program and then assigning an expected survival rate."

According to the report, the one-year survival rate for the UCSF Heart Transplant Program was 100 percent, compared to an expected survival rate of 87 percent. The UCSF Liver Transplant Program produced a one-year survival rate of 92 percent compared to an expected 88 percent, and the Lung Transplant Program generated a one-year survival rate of 90 percent compared to an expected 80 percent. The expected survival rates reflect the health condition of each program's transplant patients.

UCSF is recognized for tackling the most complex transplant surgeries, including multiple organ transplants, and is the only hospital among the U.S. News & World Report top 18 hospitals with these three programs that exceeds the national averages for expected survival rates at significant levels.

Roberts and Dr. Teresa De Marco, medical director of the UCSF Heart Transplant Program, said UCSF transplant teams include a full range of patient care and support personnel, and all are committed to achieving better-than-expected survival rates.

Many patients and families, looking to select a transplant program, use the SRTR data. Transplant surgeons use it to explain a patient's prospects for recovery, as do administrators addressing quality control for transplant programs, insurance companies and payers, and federal regulatory bodies charged with protecting patients.

Transplants are the most advanced treatment for patients with severe, end-stage disease with no other effective, available medical or surgical treatments, according to clinicians.

Heart Transplants

The Heart Transplant Program at UCSF began in 1989 and is expected to soon perform its 500th procedure. The program focuses on pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular failure, combined heart-kidney transplant, transplant for Chagas disease, transplant for congenital heart disease, transplant for HIV, and research on the genomics of heart failure and allograft loss (rejection of donor organ).

Liver Transplants

Since it began in 1988, the UCSF Liver Transplant Program has performed more than 2,100 liver transplants for adults and children. The program is designated as a Center of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and performs more liver transplants than any other hospital in Northern California. Program specialists are currently conducting research in the areas of living donor transplantation, liver cancer, clinical therapeutics in liver transplantation, transplantation in HIV-infected patients, hepatitis C antiviral therapy, and recurrent viral disease.

Lung Transplants

The UCSF Lung Transplant Program has performed more than 250 transplants since the program began in 1991, and it is a specialized center of excellence for treating cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. The program also focuses on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) as a bridge to transplant for acute respiratory failure, the role of transplant in malignancy (bronchoalveolar carcinoma), and transplant for HIV patients. Current research includes the genomics of transplant rejection, acute lung injury and fungal infections.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

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