Between January 1968 and March 1980, 202 hearts had been transplanted into 185 patients at Stanford University Medical Center. Occasionally, patients after transplantation develop myocardial failure which is amenable only to retransplantation. Sixteen patients underwent initial orthotopic allograft using standard techniques. Eight patients developed accelerated arteriosclerotic coronary disease, six had unrelenting rejection, and two had donor heart dysrrhythmia or right ventricular failure requiring retransplantation. One patient required a third transplant because of donor left ventricular ischemia. All sequential transplants were managed similarly to the primary transplant. Of the initial transplant hearts at risk, 60% survived for more than 1 year, and 57% survived for more than 2 years. These results are similar to those of patients not requiring retransplantation. Of the secondary transplant hearts at risk, 31% survived for more than 1 year and 29% survived for more than 2 years. The severity of infection and/or rejection contributed most significantly to secondary heart transplant mortality. Sequential orthotopic cardiac transplantation offers an acceptable alternative to patients with allograft failure. Survival is not as favorable as with initial transplantation because of the prolonged immunosuppression during sequential transplantation.