The impact and outcome of transplant coronary artery disease in a pediatric population: A 9-year multi-institutional study

Elfriede Pahl, David C. Naftel, Micheal A. Kuhn, Robert E. Shaddy, William R. Morrow, Charles E. Canter, James Kirklin

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144 Scopus citations


Background: Transplant coronary artery disease (TCAD) limits survival in heart transplant recipients; however, its incidence in children is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the angiographic incidence of TCAD, potential risk factors, and outcomes in a large pediatric cohort. Methods: From January 1993 to December 1, a total of 1,222 children, aged newborn to 17 years, underwent primary cardiac transplantation at 20 institutions. A total of 2,049 coronary angiograms were performed in 751 patients. All angiograms were graded for coronary disease and results were submitted to the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study database. We analyzed time-related freedom from graded severity and events from coronary disease, and we examined risk factors. Results: The incidence of angiographic abnormalities at 1, 3, and 5 years was 2%, 9%, and 17%, respectively; however, moderate-to-severe disease occurred in only 6% at 5 years, compared with 15% in the adult transplant database (p <0.0001). The major risk factors were older recipient and donor age. Two or more episodes of rejection in the 1st year correlated with coronary disease (p = 0.05). Overall freedom from graft loss caused by primary TCAD was 99%, 96%, and 91% at 1, 5, and 9 years after heart transplantation, respectively. Death or graft loss occurred within 2 years of diagnosis in patients with severe disease; 24% of patients with any coronary disease died within 2 years. Conclusions: The incidence of TCAD in children is smaller than the incidence in adults, but increases with age. Graft loss is infrequent in children; however, severe coronary disease correlates with poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-651
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


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