Pediatric Cardiology

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 768–775 | Cite as

Characteristics and Outcomes of Heart Transplantation in DiGeorge Syndrome

  • Peter Woolman
  • David W. Bearl
  • Jonathan H. Soslow
  • Debra A. Dodd
  • Cary Thurm
  • Matt Hall
  • Brian Feingold
  • Justin GodownEmail author
Original Article


DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) is commonly associated with both congenital heart disease (CHD) and immunologic abnormalities. While CHD may prompt consideration for heart transplantation (HTx), little is known about HTx management or outcomes in this group. The aim of this study was to describe the spectrum of patients with DGS who undergo HTx and report post-HTx outcomes. All pediatric HTx recipients (2002–2016) with DGS were identified using ICD codes from a linked billing and clinical registry database. Patient characteristics and outcomes were described and compared to non-DGS HTx recipients with CHD. Kaplan–Meier methods were used to assess overall survival, freedom from infection, and freedom from rejection. A total of 17 patients with DGS who underwent HTx at 12 different centers were included. Median age at HTx was 5 years (IQR 0–13 years). Steroids were used for induction in all patients in addition to thymoglobulin in 13/17 (76%) and IL2R antagonists in 3/17 (18%). Maintenance immunosuppression was a combination of tacrolimus or cyclosporine and mycophenolate or azathioprine in 16/17 (94%). Half received steroids at the time of discharge. There were six deaths (35%). The median post-HTx survival was 5.4 years with no difference in freedom from rejection, infection, or overall survival between patients with and without DGS. Patients with DGS undergoing HTx received standard immunosuppression. We found no difference in freedom from infection, rejection, or overall post-HTx survival compared to non-DGS patients, although the small size of our study resulted in limited statistical power. Given the potential for favorable outcomes, patients with DGS may be considered for HTx in the appropriate clinical setting.


Pediatric Heart transplantation DiGeorge syndrome 22q11 deletion 



The data reported here have been supplied by the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) as the contractor for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). The interpretation and reporting of these data are the responsibility of the author(s) and in no way should be seen as an official policy of or interpretation by the SRTR or the U.S. Government.


This project was supported through internal funding from the Katherine Dodd Faculty Scholar Program at Vanderbilt University (JG). Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K23HL123938 (Bethesda, MD) (JS). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose related to the content of this manuscript.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was waived by Vanderbilt IRB.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PediatricsMonroe Carell Jr. Children’s HospitalNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Pediatric CardiologyMonroe Carell Jr. Children’s HospitalNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital AssociationLenexaUSA
  4. 4.Pediatrics and Clinical and Translational ScienceUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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