Skip to main content

20-year experience with pediatric heart transplant in a developing country


Cardiomyopathies in advanced stages and highly complex congenital heart disease may not be amenable to therapy or surgical correction thus being indicated pediatric heart transplant. In this study, we sought to report and evaluate the immediate and long-term outcomes of our 20 years experience in pediatric heart transplant.


We conducted a retrospective study of 106 patients undergoing pediatric heart transplant between 1992 and 2011. We analyzed medical records, surgical reports and results of complementary tests.


The mean age at transplantation was 5.9 years (min=12 days, max=18 years). The preoperative diagnosis was cardiomyopathy in 79% and congenital heart disease in 21%. The surgical technique for all cases was orthotopic transplantation, having been used the biatrial method until 1996 and, since then, the bicaval method. There were four retransplantation, three due to hyperacute rejection and one due to graft vasculopathy. Survival was 84% during hospital stay, 81% in 1 year, 72% in 5 years, 62% in 10 years and 56% in 15 years. Among the postransplant comorbidities, recurrent lung infection was present in 70%, hypertension in 30%, graft vasculopathy in 25% and lymphoproliferative disease in 10%. During follow-up, one patient underwent renal transplantation 16 years after heart transplantation.


Our 20 years experience in pediatric heart transplant present results compatible to the literature, with values of survival and morbidity that strengthen it as an alternative to treat different heart diseases of childhood.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to G Liguori.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Liguori, G., Penha, J., Miana, L. et al. 20-year experience with pediatric heart transplant in a developing country. J Cardiothorac Surg 8 (Suppl 1), O309 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: