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Keywords:

  • combined heart–liver transplant;
  • pediatric transplantation;
  • operative technique

Hill AL, Maeda K, Bonham CA, Concepcion W. Pediatric combined heart–liver transplantation performed en bloc: A single-center experience.

Abstract:  Pediatric CHLT is rarely performed in transplant centers and even fewer are performed en bloc. In the hands of an experienced surgeon with the appropriate patient selection, CHLT performed en bloc may have several operative and immunologic benefits, thereby resulting in improved outcomes for the transplant recipient. A single-institutional, retrospective review from 1/1/06 to 12/31/10 was conducted. Three pediatric patients with end-stage heart and liver disease who were considered low immunologic risk were included. All were managed by the same surgeon with a herein-described CHLT donor and recipient operation. Data were collected on patient and graft survival, rejection episodes, infectious complications, operative time, intraoperative transfusion requirements, and immunosuppression regimens. One-yr patient and graft survival rates were 100%. No patients experienced antibody-mediated or cell-mediated rejection. No patients had postoperative infections, and all patients were free of opportunistic infections at one-yr post-transplant. All patients were maintained safely on steroid-free immunosuppression. There were no intraoperative complications. In pediatric end-stage heart and liver disease patients with low immunologic risk, it is reasonable to proceed with en bloc CHLT so long as there is an experienced surgeon to perform the case. This offers operative and immunologic advantages to the recipient while maintaining equivalent, if not improved, recipient and graft outcomes.