Heart transplant

The world’s first HIV-positive heart transplant was successfully performed

Yesterday, Montefiore Health System announced that it had successfully completed the first HIV-to-HIV heart transplant.

The patient, an HIV-positive woman in her 60s, suffered from advanced heart failure. She received the life-saving heart transplant and a concurrent kidney transplant in early spring 2022.

“This was a complicated case and a truly multidisciplinary effort from cardiology, surgery, nephrology, infectious disease, critical care and immunology,” said Dr Omar Saeed, patient’s cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The operation took 4 hours and Montefiore is one of 25 health centers in the United States authorized to perform it.

The complicated nature of HIV makes it difficult for patients living with the disease to donate and receive organs. In 2013, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act allowed people living with HIV to donate their organs to HIV-positive recipients. Until now, however, it had never been used for heart transplantation.

“Making this option available to people living with HIV expands the donor pool and means that more people, with or without HIV, will have faster access to a vital organ,” Saeed said. “To say we are proud of what this means for our patients and the medical community as a whole is an understatement. »

After 5 weeks of recovery in the hospital, the patient went to see her transplant doctors for regular follow-up in Montefiore.

“The goal of the Montefiore Heart Transplant team is to constantly push and set new standards so that anyone suitable for an organ transplant can benefit from this lifesaving procedure,” said Daniel Goldstein, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Director, Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance Programs in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein).

Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s University Health Systems, located in the Bronx. Comprised of 10 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care centers, Montefiore serves approximately 3 million people in the Bronx, Westchester and Hudson Valley.