Heart Transplant Program Overview

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At the Heart Transplant Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, we evaluate infants, children and adolescents who are potential candidates for heart transplantations. Comprised of clinicians from both the Pediatric Transplant Center and the hospital's #1 ranked Heart Center, we specialize in caring for children with end-stage heart disease. Since the Heart Transplant Program’s inception in 1986, we have performed more than 260 heart transplants.

Betsy Blume, MD – Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program

Pediatric Heart Transplant Program highlights

Our expertise

The Heart Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital Boston is one of the largest pediatric heart transplant centers in the country. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of:

  • cardiac surgeonsHeart Transplant Staff
  • cardiac anesthesiologists
  • cardiologists
  • advanced practice nurses
  • physical therapists
  • cardiac pathologists
  • infectious disease specialists
  • nutritionists
  • transplant pharmacists
  • transplant coordinators
  • psychologists
  • social workers
  • child life specialists
Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD – Surgical Director, Heart & Lung Transplant

Together, we are dedicated to caring for some of the most acute cardiac patients in the country.

  • More than 60 percent of heart transplant evaluations are for patients with complex congenital heart disease.
  • The remainder of the patients evaluated for transplant have a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy that has failed maximal medical management.

Our program makes frequency use of Boston Children’s advanced cardiac catheterization lab. Here, we can visualize what’s happening in the heart in fine detail, and take measurements of blood pressure and flow. Our colleagues specializing in interventional cardiology can even make a number of repairs with catheterization, like expanding narrowed passages and closing holes.

Did you know?

Mechanical circulatory support with VADs

Boston Children’s physicians and nurses have played a leading role in the research and regulatory issues surrounding pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) use in the United States. These devices give blood circulation a boost and can serve as a life-saving bridge to transplant. Boston Children’s cardiologist Christopher Almond, was integral in designing and conducting the multi-institutional study of the Berlin Heart®, which gained FDA approval for use in children in 2011. Boston Children’s continues to expand the field of VAD support in children by introducing new devices such as the HeartWare® HVAD allowing children to be discharged home and to resume activities of life. A Boston Children’s patient was the first child in North America to go back to school with a VAD as she waits for a heart transplant. Learn more.


Heart transplant patient, Danielle, age 15, six years post-transplant

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Contact the Heart Transplant Program

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO