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Transplant Proc. 2013 Jul-Aug;45(6):2414-8. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.11.011. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Exploring parenthood in the New Zealand Heart Transplant Program.

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New Zealand Heart and Lung Transplant Service, Auckland, New Zealand.


Heart transplantation is an established treatment for end-stage cardiac disease. This study describes parenthood after heart transplantation in the New Zealand population. An analysis was performed of all heart recipients from the New Zealand program. Exclusion criteria were death within 3 months of transplantation or age <18 years at the time of the survey. Recipients (or next of kin if recipients deceased) were surveyed regarding family status at the time of transplantation and new parenthood after transplantation. A total of 145 of 199 eligible recipients completed the survey ∼12.2 years after transplant (119 male, 26 female). Before transplantation, 81% were in a permanent relationship; 72% had children. After transplantation, 19/45 recipients had 27 children (2 female recipients had 3 children), of whom 15 were planned. Complications occurred in 7/27 pregnancies (including one atrial septal defect requiring surgery). Two recipients died after the birth of their children (children aged 2.6 and 14.1 years). This study provides unique data relevant to both female and male recipients regarding new parenthood after heart transplantation and will promote more informed discussion with transplant recipients.

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