Management of the sensitized pediatric heart transplant patient

Erik L. Frandsen, Erin L. Albers


Despite advancements in transplant immunosuppression and techniques for managing critically ill patients awaiting heart transplantation, children who are immunologically sensitized to human leukocyte antigen remain at increased risk for morbidity and mortality, both while awaiting and after heart transplant. In this review we will discuss the epidemiology of sensitization, review the immunologic basis and methods of human leukocyte antigen antibody detection, describe outcomes for sensitized pediatric transplant candidates, and consider both pre- and post-transplant management options for sensitized patients.