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Influence of cardiac diagnosis on outcomes of pediatric heart-lung transplantation.

OBJECTIVE: Pediatric Heart-lung transplant (HLTX) is performed for endstage congenital heart disease (CHD) with irreversible pulmonary hypertension or non-congenital heart disease (NCHD) with end-stage heart and lung disease. CHD could influence the outcomes of HTLX due to increased complexity of the operation as compared to NCHD. In this study we evaluated the influence of cardiac diagnosis on outcomes of pediatric HTLX.

METHODS: The UNOS database (1987-2022) was queried for primary HTLX in patients <18 years. The data were extracted for demographics, pretransplant characteristics, post-transplant outcomes, and analyzed for the impact of cardiac diagnosis on post-transplant outcomes. Standard statistical tests were used. Survival was compared using the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: Ninety of the 213 patients who underwent HLTX had CHD. There were no demographic differences. Heart listing status was similar but with a higher LAS score for NCHD. NCHD had higher pre-operative life support use (mechanical ventilation, inotropes or dialysis) but the use of ECMO as a bridge to transplantation was similar. Wait-list times were longer for CHD. The ischemic times were similar. Post-transplant dialysis, stroke, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and rejection were similar. Survival at 30-days, 1-year, and long-term survival at 17 years was similar. Non-survivors at 30-days post-transplant were on life support, used ECMO as a bridge, had lower wait-list times, longer ischemic times and had strokes. Non-survivors at 1-year had similar factors in addition to a higher dialysis use.

CONCLUSION: Cardiac diagnosis had no impact on outcomes after Pediatric HLTX. Patients on life support or ECMO before transplantation were transplanted faster but with lower survival.

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