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Does a cardiac transplant affect children differently than adults?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Pediatric cardiac transplants are performed on about 400 children each year. The availability of donor hearts depends on the age of the child since an infant is too small to accommodate an adult heart. The most common reasons for a child to need a heart transplant include cardiomyopathy (deteriorating heart muscle function), acute myocarditis (inflamed heart muscle), and congenital heart defects that cannot be corrected another way. Coronary artery disease due to a heart transplant is the most common reason a child needs a second cardiac transplant. An adult will need to watch for symptoms of rejection until the child is old enough to monitor the body's responses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.