MUSC Heart Transplant Program

musc transplant center

Patient Evaluation

Patients referred to MUSC for a heart transplant will be admitted to the hospital for a few days to have certain tests or be scheduled as an outpatient in the clinic for tests.  These tests usually take three days to complete and are designed to determine:

  • If a new heart is needed
  • If any other illness, infection or problem is present that could make transplant surgery too risky
  • If the patient is physically and emotionally strong enough to undergo a transplant.

Tests include:

  • Blood tests to check kidneys, liver and immune system function
  • X-rays
  • Cardiac catheterization to check heart pressure
  • MUGA scan to show the function of the left and right sides of the heart
  • Echocardiogram – an ultrasound of the heart
  • EKG to check heart rhythm
  • Lung function test to determine how well the lungs are working
  • Exercise stress treadmill test
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Bone density test to check for osteoporosis
  • 24-hour urine collection to determine kidney function
  • Other scans, such as MRI or CT scan
  • Women will have a gynecological exam, pap smear and possibly a mammogram.

Patients are also evaluated by other specialists to determine if a transplant is the right treatment.  Those who smoke or drink alcohol must quit at least three months before an evaluation.


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