The purpose of this article is to analyze patients affected with ischemic cardiomyopathy, older than 55 years, who have undergone heart transplantation. We conducted a retrospective analysis comparing clinical course and outcome in patients whose donor age was > or = 50 years (Group A) with patients who had younger donor heart (Group B). Group A was composed of 25 patients, 55 to 68 years old (27.4% of the patients), 20 males and 5 females; Group B was composed of 68 patients, 55 to 66 years old, 65 males and 3 females. Mean donor age in Group A was 54.7 years old (range 51-61), while in Group B it was 29.5 years old (range 9-49). Operative mortality was 16% (4 cases) and 12% in Group B (8 cases) p = ns. Total mortality in Group A was 24%, or 6 cases: 2 graft failures, 1 infection, 1 neoplasm, 1 multiorgan failure, 1 ischemic heart disease; in Group B it was 27%, or 18 cases: 2 cerebrovascular accidents, 4 graft failures, 3 infections, 5 neoplasms, 3 multiorgan failures, 1 acute rejection, p = ns. Coronarography was performed in 51 patients, 14 in Group A (10 cases normal, 3 with irregularities, and 1 case with a critical stenosis of the circumflex artery; 37 in Group B (32 cases were normal, 3 had irregularities and 2 had critical stenosis in a coronary artery). In conclusion, we emphasize that extending donor age in recipients older than 55 years of age does not determine a higher risk and mortality.