Cardiac Transplantation for End-Stage Congenital Heart Defects: The Mayo Clinic Experience

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To review the outcome of cardiac transplantation undertaken in patients with congenital heart defects.

Material and Methods

Between November 1991 and March 1998 at our institution, cardiac transplantation was performed in 16 patients with congenital heart disease (age range, 3 to 57 years; mean, 26.1). Preoperative diagnoses included univentricular heart (N = 4); complete transposition of the great arteries (N = 3); Ebstein's anomaly (N = 2); tetralogy of Fallot (N = 2); levotransposition (N = 2); dextrocardia, corrected transposition, ventricular and atrial septal defects, and pulmonary stenosis (N = 1); double-outlet right ventricle (N = 1); and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (N = 1). All patients had undergone from one to five previous palliative operations.


Four patients required permanent pacemaker implantation during the first month postoperatively because of bradycardia; more than 2 years later, another patient required a permanent pacemaker because of sick sinus syndrome. In addition, one patient had an automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. Three patients required reconstruction of cardiovascular structures with use of prosthetic material (Teflon patches or donor tissue) at the time of cardiac transplantation. Actuarial 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival was 86.2 +/- 9.1%. During the first year after transplantation, two deaths occurred-one at 41 days of putative vascular rejection and the second at 60 days of severe cellular rejection. All other patients are alive and functionally rehabilitated; the mean follow-up period has been 26.1 months (range, 2 to 89.6).


Cardiac transplantation for patients with congenital heart disease can be accomplished with a low perioperative mortality and an excellent medium-term survival despite the challenges presented by the technical difficulties during invasive diagnostic procedures and at operation and the need for adherence to long-term multiple-drug therapy in this patient population.

Mayo Clin Proc 1998;73


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