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Heart transplantation in children is being performed with increasing frequency. As experience has accrued, problems of rejection, graft atherosclerosis, and growth have been noted. Seventeen children (seven boys and 10 girls) between the ages of 5 months and 14 years have undergone heart transplantation since 1981. The preoperative diagnosis was cardiomyopathy in 13 children, congenital heart disease in two, and endocardial fibroelastosis in two. Immunosuppressive therapy has included a tapering schedule of cyclosporine, azathioprine, and prednisone. There are 13 children alive, with four hospital deaths (two of infection, one of rejection, and one of graft failure). Rejection occurs as frequently in children as in adults. Two children have undergone retransplantation for rejection. Long-term hemodynamics are normal. Growth has been delayed in two of five children who are younger than age 10 years. Kidney function remains stable. Rehabilitation is 100% among the discharged patients. Heart transplantation in children represents an effective therapeutic modality. Heart transplantation in the young has emphasized morbidity caused by current immunosuppressive agents.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989T169600004
View details for PubMedID 2647927