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Is an adult heart ever transplanted into a child?

Will they put an adult heart in a child and if so will the heart grow? If they do put an adult heart in a child, what happens to the heart and the child?

submitted by Jeana from Nebraska on 7/7/2011


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Roberta C. Bogaev, MD    

Roberta C. Bogaev, MDDear Jeana,
Heart transplant donors are chosen based on matching the recipient's blood type. In addition, we accept  a donor heart within 20% of the recipient's weight as well as height. In the last decade, I do not recall accepting a donor heart that is older than the recipient. 

When pediatric donor hearts are placed into children, they will grow with the child. On rare occasions, we may place a large child's heart into a small adult. It performs well and does not increase in size. Thank you for contacting the Texas Heart Institute AAHD. Sincerely.   

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Updated July 2011
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