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Rosenthal, L. Lily; Grinninger, Carola; Pozza, Robert Dalla; Fischer, Marcus; Zimmerling, Linda; Ulrich, Sarah M.; Kari, Fabian A.; Haas, Nikolaus A.; Michel, Sebastian; Hörer, Jürgen; Hagl, Christian (2024): Impact of the operative technique on mid‐ and long‐term results following paediatric heart transplantation. ESC Heart Failure, 11 (3). pp. 1602-1611. ISSN 2055-5822

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The aim of this study is to evaluate and compare the impact of the bicaval technique versus the biatrial technique (by Lower and Shumway) in paediatric heart transplant patients. Only a few studies investigate this matter regarding the long-term outcome after paediatric heart transplantation. We compared the two surgical methods regarding survival, the necessity of pacemaker implantation.

Methods and results
All 134 patients (aged <18 years) – (group-1) biatrial (n = 84), versus (group-2) bicaval (n = 50), who underwent heart transplantation between October 1988 and December 2021, were analysed. Freedom from events were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Potential differences were analysed using the log rank test and Cox proportional hazard models. Mean ± standard deviation: Bypass time (per minutes) was higher in the group 1 as compared with group 2 (P = 0.050). Survival was not significantly different (P = 0.604) in either groups. Eighteen patients required permanent pacemaker implantation in the group 1 and only one patient required it in the group 2 (P = 0.001).

Paediatric heart transplantation using bicaval technique results similar long-term survival compared with the biatrial technique. The incidence of atrial rhythm disorders was significantly higher in the biatrial group, requiring a higher frequency of pacemaker implantation in this group. As a results, the bicaval technique has replaced the biatrial technique in our centre.

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