Background: Historically, women have had less access to advanced heart failure therapies, including temporary and permanent mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation (HT), with worse waitlist and post-transplant survival compared with men. This study evaluated for improvement in sex differences across all phases of HT in the 2018 allocation system. Methods and Results: The United Network for Organ Sharing registry was queried to identify adult patients (≥18 years) listed for HT from October 18, 2016, to October 17, 2018 (old allocation), and from October 18, 2018, to October 18, 2020 (new allocation). The outcomes of interest included waitlist survival, pretransplant use of temporary and durable mechanical circulatory support, rates of HT, and post-transplant survival. There were 15,629 patients who were listed for HT and included in this analysis; 7745 (2039 women, 26.3%) in the new and 7875 patients (2074 women, 26.3%) in the old allocation system. When compared with men in the new allocation system, women were more likely to have lower priority United Network for Organ Sharing status at time of transplant, and less likely to be supported by an intra-aortic balloon pump (27.1% vs 32.2%, P < .001), with no difference in the use of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (5.5% vs 6.3%, P = .28). Despite these findings, when transplantation was viewed in the context of risk for death or delisting, the cumulative incidence of transplant within 6 months of listing was higher in women than men in the new allocation system (62.4% vs 54.9%, P < .001) with no differences in post-transplant survival. When comparing women in the old with the new allocation system, the distance traveled for organ procurement was 187.5 ± 207.0 miles vs 272.8 ± 233.7 miles (P < .001). Conclusions: Although the use of temporary mechanical circulatory support in women remains lower than in men in the new allocation system, more women are being transplanted with comparable waitlist and post-transplant outcomes as men. Broader sharing may be making its greatest impact on improving transplant opportunities for women.
- Heart transplantation
- mechanical circulatory support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine