Heart Transplant Program
Our Innovative Approach
Here at the Heart Transplant Program, our treatment is informed by our research. Boston Children’s is home to the world’s most extensive research enterprise at a pediatric hospital.
We also have the greatest level of partnerships with the top research, biotech and health care organizations in Boston, working together to improve kids’ health.
Working with our peers across the country
Boston Children’s Hospital Heart Transplant Program is one of five sites awarded a grant to study the outcomes and mechanisms surrounding patients that are highly sensitized. Children with congenital heart disease become ‘sensitized’ at a higher rate from the homograft material used in their neonatal repairs.
Historically, these patients had longer wait times and more risk. Our clinical protocol has allowed patients to forgo the crossmatch and augment the antibodies using plasmapheresis and IVIG. Our NIH trial is studying the mechanisms behind this protocol.
In addition, the Heart Transplant Program participates in many other multi-center studies and registries, including the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study, the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry, ESLO (ECMO Registry) and Intermacs Registry (for ventricular support devices).
This participation keeps our specialists on the forefront of medical technology and best practices. Learn more about specific studies in the fields of:
Gentler medications, just as effective
Our Heart Transplant Program offers an immunosuppressant protocol that avoids the use of chronic steroids. This means that your child could avoid the side effects commonly associated with steroids - including hypertension, diabetes and obesity – and enjoy a healthier post-transplant life.
Rethinking the distribution process
Members of our research teams are also investigating the efficacy of the current system of heart organ allocation. Gaining a better understanding of the best process for optimal outcomes may lead to significant changes at the national level of heart allocation with more kids getting donor hearts more quickly.