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Cardiac transplantation in adults with congenital heart disease
  1. C Irving,
  2. G Parry,
  3. J O'Sullivan,
  4. J H Dark,
  5. R Kirk,
  6. D S Crossland,
  7. M Chaudhari,
  8. M Griselli,
  9. J R L Hamilton,
  10. A Hasan
  1. Department of Congenital Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claire Irving, Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Freeman Hospital, Freeman Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK; claire.irving{at}


Background Due to increasing success with repair or palliation in childhood, there is a rapidly growing population of adult patients with complex congenital heart disease who may require transplantation. There remains little data on outcomes of cardiac transplantation in this group.

Methods 38 orthotopic cardiac transplants were performed in 37 patients (18 men) ≥18 years of age with congenital heart disease (CHD) from 1988 to 2009 in our institution. Outcomes were reviewed using medical records and transplant databases.

Results 15 patients (41%) had univentricular and 22 (59%) biventricular physiology. The biggest group was transposition of the great arteries following atrial switch in eight patients (22%). Six (16%) had no previous surgical intervention. Mean age at transplant was 33.5 years (range 19.1–59.9 years). 11 patients (30%) required additional surgical procedures at transplant. 16 (43%) died, 12 early and 4 late deaths (1.8, 2.4, 2.7 and 7 years). Survival was 70% at 30 days, 68% at 1 year, 58% at 5 years and 53% at 10 and 15 years. Outcome improved in later eras with reduction in 30-day mortality from 50% to 18% and increase in 5-year survival from 50% to 69%. Two patients developed post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease. None required long-term renal replacement therapy. One patient was re-transplanted for cardiac allograft vasculopathy.

Conclusions While operative mortality following cardiac transplantation for adult congenital heart disease is higher than for other diagnostic groups, long-term survival is good and comparable to patients without CHD. Disappointing early results are improved with increasing experience.

  • Congenital heart disease
  • adult
  • cardiac transplantation
  • heart transplant
  • paediatric cardiology

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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