Heart Failure and Heart Transplant
The Heart Failure and Heart Transplant affinity group at Stanford consists of a group of physicians who specialize in the various subspecialties of heart failure management and work in an integrated manner with nurses, dietitians, and social workers to provide highly specialized and comprehensive care to patients with heart failure.
The field of heart transplantation started in the 1960s at Stanford with initial experiments by Norman Shumway in animal models demonstrating that the denervated heart in the orthotopic position could support normal physical activity. The introduction of immunosuppression led to the clinical field starting in 1967, but early results were dismal and an unofficial moratorium was placed on heart transplant procedures by 1969. During the subsequent decade the Stanford group continued clinical activity and made several landmark contributions to the field, including development of the endomyocardial biopsy to diagnose and grade allograft rejection, and introduction of distant heart procurement. These advances, plus the introduction of cyclosporine for immunosuppression and improved prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, led to markedly improved survival rates and the revival of the field worldwide in the 1980s.
Subsequent major advances in the field of heart transplantation have been pioneered by clinicians and investigators at Stanford, including (1) echocardiographic monitoring for acute rejection, (2) recognition of the role of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in the development of chronic rejection, (3) use of peripheral gene expression testing for non-invasive rejection surveillance, and (4) development of a novel cell-free DNA assay for early detection of graft injury.
Stanford remains a leader in the field of heart failure and heart transplantation, and is proud that its trainees hold distinguished leadership positions at transplant centers around the world.
As the treatment options and complexities of patients with heart failure have evolved, the heart failure and transplant affinity group has also expanded to meet the needs of specific heart failure populations.
The Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease (SCICD) is led by Euan Ashley who works closely with Matt Wheeler and a genetics group who specialize in inherited heart muscle disease. The group has now become the largest Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Ctr. west of the Rockies.
The Stanford Amyloid Center is headed by Ronald Witteles who has developed specialist expertise and works in close collaboration with his colleagues in hematology to provide comprehensive evaluation and care for patients with amyloid heart disease. He also has a interest and expertise in cardiac sarcoidosis.
Dipanjan Banerjee is the medical director of our Mechanical Cardiac Support program and evaluates and treats patients who may benefit from LVAD or RVAD support either as destination therapy or as a bridge to cardiac transplantation
Karim Sallam is developing a program to bring advances in regenerative medicine to the treatment of patients with heart failure.