BACKGROUND: The influence of Fontan-associated protein-losing enteropathy's (PLE) severity, duration, and treatment on heart transplant (HTx) outcomes is unknown. We hypothesized that long-standing PLE and PLE requiring more intensive therapy are associated with increased post-HTx mortality. METHODS: This 12-center, retrospective cohort study of post-Fontan patients with PLE referred for HTx from 2003 to 2015 involved collection of demographic, medical, surgical, and catheterization data, as well as PLE-specific data, including duration of disease, intensity/details of treatment, hospitalizations, and complications. Factors associated with waitlist and post-HTx outcomes and PLE resolution were sought. RESULTS: Eighty patients (median of 5 per center) were referred for HTx evaluation. Of 68 patients listed for HTx, 8 were removed due to deterioration, 4 died waiting, and 4 remain listed. In 52 patients undergoing HTx, post-HTx 1-month survival was 92% and 1-year survival was 83%. PLE-specific factors, including duration of PLE pre-HTx, pre-HTx hospitalizations, need for/frequency of albumin replacement, PLE therapies, and growth parameters had no association with post-HTx mortality. Immunosuppressant regimen was associated with mortality; standard mycophenolate mofetil immunotherapy was used in 95% of survivors compared with only 44% of non-survivors (p = 0.03). Rejection (53%) and infection (42%) post-HTx were common, but not associated with PLE-specific factors. PLE resolved completely in all but 1 HTx survivor at a median of 1 month (interquartile range 1 to 3 months); resolution was not affected by PLE-specific factors. CONCLUSIONS: PLE severity, duration, and treatment do not influence post-HTx outcome, but immunosuppressive regimen may have an impact on survival. PLE resolves in nearly all survivors.
- congenital heart disease, protein-losing enteropathy
- heart transplant
- pediatric transplant
- protein-losing enteropathy