Cleveland Clinic Led Country In Heart Transplants

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Clinic led the nation in the survival rate of heart transplant recipients during the late 1990s, according to a government report.

The 2001 annual report of the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network also shows that the Clinic performed more adult heart transplants than any of the other 149 heart transplant centers in the nation.

The report shows 96 percent of the Clinic's heart recipients survived at least one month, 88 percent at least a year and 86 percent at least 34 months.

Other centers posted higher survival rates at each of those intervals, but the report took into account how sick a center's transplant patients were.

The Clinic attracts high-risk patients that other transplant centers often reject, said Dr. Patrick McCarthy, head of the Clinic's heart transplant program.

Its success comes despite drawing from a smaller pool of potential donors than other transplant centers.

"Considering that we're in Cleveland, which is significantly smaller, we actually do quite well," he said.

Last year, 56 percent of the 66 adults and nine children who received new hearts at the Clinic came from Ohio. Most of the other hearts came from neighboring states and two came from foreign counties.

From 1997 to 1999, the Clinic transplanted 185 adult hearts, 20 more than runner-up New York-Presbyterian Hospital. From 1995 to 1997, the Clinic's total was 156, third highest in the nation.

Outcomes at five other Ohio hospitals that do heart transplants, including University Hospitals of Cleveland, were about as expected, the report said.

The report also looks at transplants of other organs, including liver, kidney and pancreas.

University Hospitals showed lower-than-expected survival rates for liver transplant patients at one month and one year, and for kidney transplant patients at 34 months.

Otherwise, University Hospitals, the Clinic and Akron City Hospital had survival rates that were neither better nor worse than expected.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)