In this review we have looked at indications for cardiac transplantation in congenital heart disease. An outline of the general principles of the use of transplant as a management strategy both as a first line treatment and following other surgical interventions is discussed. We explore the importance of the timing of patient referral and the evaluations undertaken, and how the results of these may vary between patients with congenital heart disease and patients with other causes of end-stage heart failure. The potential complications associated with patients with congenital heart disease need to be both anticipated and managed appropriately by an experienced team. Timing of transplantation in congenital heart disease is difficult to standardize as the group of patients is heterogeneous. We discuss the role and limitations of investigations such as BNP, 6 minute walk, metabolic exercise testing and self estimated physical functioning. We also discuss the suitability for listing. It is clear that congenital heart patients should not be considered to be at uniform high risk of death at transplant. Morbidity varies greatly in the congenital patient population with the failing Fontan circulation having a far higher risk than a failing Mustard circulation. However the underlying issue of imbalance between donor organ supply and demand needs to be addressed as transplant teams are finding themselves in the increasingly difficult situation of supporting growing numbers of patients with a diverse range of pathologies with declining numbers of donor organs.
Keywords: Congenital heart disease (CHD), heart transplantation, paediatric, CHD, cardiac transplantation, heart transplant, cardiac conditions, pulmonary atresia, minimal intervention, SURGICAL PALLIATIONS, Surgery, Congenital heart disease
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