Contrasting the neurologic complications of cardiac transplantation in adults and children

Thomas O. Mayer, José Biller, Jacqueline O'Donnell, James F. Meschia, Deborah K. Sokol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate neurologic complications associated with cardiac transplantation and compare the neurologic complications seen in adults and children. As advances in immunology have led to longer survival times for cardiac transplant recipients (1- and 5-year survival rates have improved to 86% and 65%, respectively), a number of neurologic complications have emerged. We performed a 14-year retrospective review of all adults and children (<18 years old) who had orthotopic cardiac transplantation at either Indiana University Hospital or James Withcomb Riley Hospital for Children. The rates of neurologic complications involving the central and peripheral nervous systems in adults and children were assessed for differences using the chi-square test and Fisher's exact test where appropriate. A total of 191 orthotopic cardiac transplants were performed from 1986 to 2000, with follow-up available for 184, including 107 adults and 77 children. Thirty-two of 107 (30%) adults experienced a total of 47 complications, with peripheral neuropathies being the most frequent complication. Eighteen of 77 (23%) children experienced a total of 22 complications, with seizures being the most frequent complication. Other complications occurring in both groups were cerebrovascular, infectious, encephalopathies, neoplasms, and "other." Neurologic complications in children and adults after orthotopic cardiac transplantation are similar in both incidence and type. However, peripheral neuropathies tend to occur more frequently in adults than in children (P = .04), and the types of complications in the immediate post-transplant period seem to differ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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