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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007 Oct;26(10):980-5.

Competing outcomes after neonatal and infant wait-listing for heart transplantation.

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Heart Transplant Program, Labatt Family Heart Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Neonatal and infant heart transplantation is a therapeutic option for patients with end-stage cardiac lesions, yet infants continue to face a considerable shortage of donor organs. We sought to ascertain outcomes after listing for heart transplantation using a competing outcomes methodology, and to identify factors predicting each outcome.


Review of the Toronto cardiac transplant database was undertaken to identify infant patients (<or=12 months) wait-listed for heart transplantation. Achievement of one of five possible outcomes was parametrically modeled, including: transplantation; death on the wait-list; delisting: too sick; delisting: clinically improved; and delisting for surgical palliation.


Forty-three percent (117 of 269) of the total patient listings were infants (26 fetal/63 neonatal). Of the 117 patients, 80 (68%) underwent transplantation, 15 died on the wait-list, 9 were delisted (too sick/no longer eligible for transplant), 9 opted for surgical palliation and 4 were delisted (clinical improvement). Eighty-nine percent of outcomes were achieved by 3 months from listing. Blood group and transplant era predicted achieving transplantation. Factors predicting death on the wait-list included Canadian Status 4 (most urgent), and mechanical support. Status at listing also predicted delisting: too sick. Fetal listing predicted delisting for surgical alternative.


The first 3 months after listing are critical for achieving an outcome, particularly in higher status patients, affirming the need for timely organ replacement. Strategies such as ABO-incompatible transplantation continue to decrease wait-list mortality; however, these data demonstrate that blood type O and B patients continue to face longer wait-list duration. It is imperative that we continue to seek solutions for the shortage of infant donor organs in order to maximize the utility of heart transplantation as a therapeutic option.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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