Infant heart transplantation with extremely oversized donor heart: is the donor-recipient size matching too conservative?

Case Reports

doi: 10.1002/ehf2.14238.

Online ahead of print.


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Case Reports

Shuyu Wen et al.

ESC Heart Fail.



Heart transplantation (HTx) remains the gold standard treatment for end-stage heart failure in children but is restricted due to the limitation of donors. The donor-recipient weight ratio (DRWR) of 0.8-2.5 was the main selection criterion, and reports were particularly scarce in cases of DRWR > 3.0. We present an infant HTx case with DRWR of 6.5. The recipient was a 66-day-old female infant, weighing 3 kg, diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease and refractory severe heart failure, whereas the donor was a 4-year-old girl weighing 19.5 kg. The phased delayed sternal closure was performed and accomplished on the 23rd day after operation without wound infection. After treating complications with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, peritoneal dialysis, and mechanical ventilation, the patient was successfully discharged. After 1 year of follow-up, the patient was still in optimal condition. Extending DRWR range may help enlarge the donor pool and shorten recipients’ waiting time.


Delayed sternal closure; Donor-recipient weight ratio; End-stage heart failure; Infant heart transplantation.


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