Outcome after referral for pediatric transplantation

Julia Steinberger, H. C. Haines, Sara J Shumway, R. M. Bolman, A. P. Rocchini, Elizabeth A Braunlin

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4 Scopus citations


Although heart, heart-lung, or lung transplantation is performed in more than 200 children annually, the number of patients referred for such procedures is considerably greater, and little is known about the outcome of those referrals. To determine the outcome of pediatric transplant referrals we reviewed the follow-up of 31 patients evaluated at our institution for heart (24), heart-lung (three), or lung (four) transplantations between January 1991 and September 1992. Indications included hypoplastic left heart syndrome (seven patients), cardiomyopathy or myocarditis (seven patients), and postoperative congenital heart disease (10 patients) for heart transplantation; Eisenmenger's syndrome (three patients) for heart-lung transplantation; and primary pulmonary hypertension (two patients), broncho pulmonary dysplasia, and cystic fibrosis for lung transplantation. Only 14 of 31 referred patients were listed for transplantation; the remaining 17 patients either improved when medical therapy was maximized (nine patients), died within days of referral (three patients), refused (two patients), chose alternate surgery (one patient), were medically unacceptable (one patient), or are currently undecided (one patient). To date 7 of 14 patients listed have undergone successful heart transplantation; the remaining seven patients either improved and did not require transplantation (two patients), refused (one patient), died waiting (one patient), are currently awaiting a donor (one patient), or underwent Norwood procedure because of donor unavailability (two patients). Thus including patients who died before listing, only 14 of 31 referrals (45%) were deemed in need of a transplant. We conclude that referrals for transplantation should be evaluated critically and triaged appropriately because medical management may prevent or delay transplantation in 35% and that early evaluation may increase the chances of survival for those who require transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-769
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


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