Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Ranked First Nationally in 2010 Adult Heart Transplants

Los Angeles – March 9, 2011 – The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and Comprehensive Transplant Center performed the most adult heart transplants of any U.S. medical center in 2010, according to government statistics released today.

During 2010, Cedars-Sinai surgeons completed heart transplants on 75 patients and a heart and lung transplant on one patient, the most of any of the 116 medical centers that performed adult heart transplants in 2010.  The official statistics were compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the nation’s transplant system. 

Since 1988, when the Heart Transplant Program at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute was established, 652 patients have undergone heart transplantation.

“The generosity of organ donors as well as the dedication of our heart transplant team has fueled our program to reach this significant milestone,” said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and Marks S. Siegel Family Professor.   “These patients are in need of the most advanced and innovative care and we are pleased that our efforts make a difference to so many patients and their families.”

Said Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program and the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Chair in Heart Transplantation Medicine, “Cedars-Sinai has a deep commitment to achieve continued excellence in heart transplantation.  It is an honor to be able to work with gifted physicians like Alfredo Trento, MD, director of cardiothoracic surgery, Lawrence Czer, MD, medical director for heart transplantation, and Fardad Esmailian, MD, surgical director for heart transplantation, to help patients have a second chance at life.”   

The new heart transplant statistics underscore the Cedars Sinai Heart Institute’s tradition of expertise and innovation, dating back to the 1920s, when Los Angeles’ first electrocardiogram machine was installed.  In the 1950s, Cedars-Sinai doctors were first to use thrombolytic enzymes to dissolve blood clots in the heart and were first to describe vasopastic angina syndrome.  In 1970, two Cedars-Sinai physicians invented the Swan-Ganz catheter, which is still used today to measure blood flow and heart pressure.  

In recent years, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute has undergone rapid growth.  After Marbán became the institute’s director in 2007, the addition of heart rhythm expert Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, hypertension specialist Ronald Victor, MD, and advanced heart failure specialist Kobashigawa rounded out the Institute’s senior leadership.

In June 2009, Marbán and his team completed the world’s first procedure in which a patient’s own heart tissue was used to grow specialized heart stem cells that were then injected back into the patient’s heart in an effort to repair and re-grow healthy muscle in a heart that had been injured by a heart attack.

Other groundbreaking programs include research by P.K Shah, MD, who has developed novel gene therapy approaches to protect against heart attacks and strokes, the unified approach to women’s heart problems pioneered by Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Women’s Heart Center and innovative  endovascular  interventional cardiology directed Raj Makkar, MD.  Cedars-Sinai interventional cardiologists participating in clinical trials have performed more catheter-based aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair procedures than doctors in any other U.S. program.    

In 2010, the Heart Institute opened an innovative, first-in-California, 30-bed Advanced Heart Failure in-patient unit dedicated to providing an intensive, multidisciplinary approach to inpatient care.