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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2012 May;31(5):509-16. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2011.12.013. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Early survival after heart transplant in young infants is lowest after failed single-ventricle palliation: a multi-institutional study.

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Primary Children's Medical Center, Division of PediatricCardiology, 100 N Mario Capecchi Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84113, USA.



Infant heart transplant (HT) recipients have the best long-term survival of any age group, but the small donor pool and high early mortality limit the therapeutic effectiveness. We sought to determine the relationship between pre-HT diagnosis and early HT outcome to better define the mortality risk associated with a diagnosis of congenital heart disease (CHD) and to examine differences between early and current HT eras.


The Pediatric Heart Transplant Study (PHTS) database was used to identify 739 infant HT recipients at age ≤ 6 months between 1993 and 2008 divided into the following etiologic groups: cardiomyopathy (CM), 18%; hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) without surgery, 41%; HLHS with surgery, 9%; other CHD without surgery, 16%; and other CHD with surgery, 15%. Severity of illness at HT, post-HT survival, and era effects were compared.


At 1 year after HT, survival was 89% for the CM group, which was the best, 79% for CHD without surgery, 82% for CHD with surgery, 79% for HLHS without surgery, and 70% for HLHS with surgery, which was the worst outcome. Hazard function analysis demonstrated the difference occurred within the first 3 months after HT. After adjusting for illness severity, differences in mortality risk persisted across etiologic groups. HT survival was similar in the current surgical era for HLHS with surgery, 71% (1993-1998) vs 70% (1999-2008).


Infant HT recipients with different pre-HT diagnoses have significantly different post-HT outcomes. HLHS infants with surgery have the lowest survival and their outcome is unchanged in the current era.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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