Based on the changes in the field of heart transplantation and the treatment and prognosis of patients with heart failure, these updated guidelines were composed by a committee under the supervision of both the Netherlands Society of Cardiology and the Netherlands Association for Cardiothoracic surgery (NVVC and NVT).
The indication for heart transplantation is defined as: ‘End-stage heart disease not remediable by more conservative measures’.
Contraindications are: irreversible pulmonary hypertension/elevated pulmonary vascular resistance; active systemic infection; active malignancy or history of malignancy with probability of recurrence; inability to comply with complex medical regimen; severe peripheral or cerebrovascular disease and irreversible dysfunction of another organ, including diseases that may limit prognosis after heart transplantation.
Considering the difficulties in defining end-stage heart failure, estimating prognosis in the individual patient and the continuing evolution of available therapies, the present criteria are broadly defined. The final acceptance is done by the transplant team which has extensive knowledge of the treatment of patients with advanced heart failure on the one hand and thorough experience with heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support on the other hand. (Neth Heart J 2008;16:79-87.