Changes in the management of cardiac transplant recipients over the past 10 years have resulted in a substantial improvement in the outlook for survival. Imuran and prednisone remain the primary immunosuppressive agents, but rabbit antihuman thymocyte globulin is used initially and reinstituted during rejection. Endomyocardial biopsy has allowed more precise diagnosis and management of rejection, and more recently immunological monitoring has been introduced to provide more frequent assessment of the host immune response. Infection is the major cause of death, and its diagnosis and treatment is managed aggressively. Current survival figures justify the use of cardiac transplantation, by an experienced team, when other measures have been exhausted.
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