A heart transplant is an operation in which the diseased heart in a person is replaced with a healthy heart from a deceased donor. Ninety percent of heart transplants are performed on patients with end-stage heart failure.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is damaged or weakened and can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. "End-stage" means the condition has become so severe that all treatments, other than heart transplant, have failed.
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that radiation therapy can reprogram heart muscle cells to what appears to be a younger state, fixing electrical problems that cause a life-threatening arrhythmia without the need for a long-used, invasive procedure.