Growth stunting in single ventricle patients after heart transplantation

Alyssa Power, Lisa Schultz, Katelin Dennis, Sandra Rizzuto, Amanda M. Hollander, David N. Rosenthal, Christopher S. Almond, Seth A. Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Malnutrition is common among children with single ventricle (SV) congenital heart disease (CHD). The impact of heart transplantation (HT) on nutritional status in SV patients is understudied. Our aim was to evaluate anthropometric changes in SV patients after HT, compared with those transplanted for cardiomyopathy (CM). Methods: We performed a single-center retrospective chart review of SV and CM patients < 18 years who underwent HT from January 01, 2010 to December 05, 2017. Wasting and stunting were defined as z-scores for weight-for-age or height-for-age ≤-2, respectively. Changes in these indices between HT and 3 years post-HT were analyzed. Results: Of 86 eligible patients, 28 (33%) had SV CHD and 58 (67%) had CM. Data were available at 3 years post-HT for 57 patients. At transplant, wasting was equally present in SV versus CM patients (7/28, 25% vs. 9/58, 16%, P =.22), which remained true at 3 years post-HT (2/16, 13% vs. 3/41, 7%, P =.61). At transplant, stunting was more common in SV than CM patients (17/28, 61% vs. 8/58, 14%, P <.001). At 3 years post-HT, 6 of 16 (38%) SV patients and 3 of 41 (7%) CM patients remained stunted (P =.01). Among all patients, wasting decreased from transplant to end-point (19% vs. 9%, P =.05), but stunting did not (29% vs. 16%, P =.2), such that wasting and stunting were associated at transplant (P <.001) but not at end-point (P =.17). Conclusions: Longitudinal growth remains impaired for several years after HT in SV patients, even when weight gain is achieved, suggesting that some factors contributing to growth impairment persist despite resolution of SV physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13634
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiomyopathy
  • growth
  • pediatric heart transplant
  • single ventricle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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