Cardiac growth after pediatric heart transplantation.
BACKGROUND To assess whether normal cardiac growth occurs after heart transplantation in the pediatric age group, we performed a study of 13 infants and children who underwent orthotopic heart transplantation at Stanford.
METHODS AND RESULTS The echocardiographic data from a population of 93 normal children were analyzed to determine estimates of the fifth, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles of the normal pediatric population. Growth curves for each of the cardiac dimensions were stratified into six classes representing each of the percentile bands, and dimensions for the 13 patients were tracked between early postoperative (early) and point of maximal follow-up (late). Results were compared by Student's paired t test to determine whether normal growth was occurring. The mean age at transplant was 5.0 +/- 1.3 years (mean +/- SEM) (range, 0.4-12.8 years), duration of follow-up was 3.1 +/- 0.4 years (1.3-5.8 years), and change in body surface area was 0.24 +/- 0.03 m2 (0.12-0.50 m2). Both right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) chamber dimensions were within the normal range at both early and late time points and grew normally as assessed by a lack of class changes. Early wall thickness measurements were above the 95th percentile in seven of 13 patients (LV), 12 of 13 patients (septum), and four of 13 patients (RV). Wall thickness measurements remained above normal, and there were no significant class changes at late follow-up. Histological examination in five patients showed markedly increased septal myocyte width, indicating myocyte hypertrophy. Atrial and great vessel anastomotic sites showed no evidence of obstruction by Doppler and catheterization studies.
CONCLUSIONS These data demonstrate that normal cardiac chamber dimensional growth occurs at greater than 3 years' follow-up after pediatric heart transplantation. Significant LV and septal (and to a lesser extent RV) hypertrophy persists and may have implications for long-term allograft growth and function.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association