Cardiac transplantation represents an expanding therapeutic modality for end-stage heart disease in children and adolescents. During the past 5 years, 27 patients (15 boys; 12 girls) between the ages of 2 and 18 have undergone cardiac transplantation. The preoperative diagnosis was cardiomyopathy in 24 (six familial), congenital heart disease in two, and endocardial fibroelastosis in one. Immunosuppression included cyclosporine, azathioprine, and prednisone. There were 22 survivors, with four hospital deaths (three infection, one pulmonary hypertension), and one death at 4.5 years from graft atherosclerosis. The actuarial survival at 4 years was 83 +/- 7.4% and that at 5 years was 69 +/- 14.2%. Renal function was stable at 4 years, with an average creatinine clearance of 69.75 +/- 27.0 ml/min/m2. Hypertension was present in 21 of 22 patients, who require multiple drug therapy. Rehabilitation is 100% among discharged patients, with 14 in school, six employed, and two toddlers.
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