Heart and Lung Transplant

Heart and Lung Transplant Services

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is the world's first pediatric solid organ transplant program.

Our surgeons perform life-saving heart and lung transplants on children who have:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension

Types of Heart and Lung Transplants We Offer

Our transplant surgeons at the Heart Institute of UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh are experts in:

  • Heart-liver transplants
  • Heart-kidney transplants
  • Heart-lung transplants
  • Double- and single-lung transplants

About the Heart and Lung Transplant Program at Children's

As one of the most active transplant centers for children in the world, our heart and lung transplant surgeons performed:

  • The program's first heart transplant in 1982.
  • The world's first pediatric heart-liver transplant in 1984.
  • The first successful pediatric heart-lung transplant in 1985.
  • More heart-lung transplants in children than any other center in the country.
  • Over 400 thoracic organ transplants in children to date, including more than 275 pediatric heart transplants.

Our heart and lung transplant team also pioneered the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

ECMO provides short-term support for children awaiting a heart transplant and for those with severe breathing problems.

Designing Heart Assist Devices for Even the Smallest Patients

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh is one of only five centers awarded National Institutes of Health grants to create the next generation of ventricular assist devices (VADs).

These mechanical pumps will:

  • Support the failing hearts of the smallest infants and children until new donor hearts are ready.
  • Help our patients grow stronger and healthier before transplant surgery.
  • Improve their chances for a full recovery after transplant.

To extend such benefits to infants too small for traditional VADs, we're working on a fully implantable mechanical heart pump the size of a nickel.

Our partners in this project include:

  • UPMC
  • The University of Pittsburgh Department of Bioengineering
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • LaunchPoint Technologies
  • World Heart Corporation

Finding New Ways to Help Children in Need of Heart and Lung Transplants

To reduce the need for immunosuppressive drugs and help our patients live longer, healthier lives, we're researching other options for preventing organ rejection. One promising option is inoculation of intrathymic donor bone marrow at the time of transplant.

Our NIH-supported research also includes studies to better understand post-transplant lymphomas and whether genetic differences contribute to diverse outcomes among transplant patients.



Clinical Studies

  • Heart and Lung Transplantation

    UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 3
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
  • Pediatric Heart Transplant Immunosuppressive Therapy Comparing Two Regimens: The TEAMMATE Study – Phase III

    Clinical Trial Comparing Everolimus and Low-Dose Tacrolimus to Tacrolimus and Mycophenalate Mofetil at 6 Months Post Heart Transplant to Prevent Long-Term Complications after Pediatric Heart Transplantation

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    Transplant EBV Disease Study

    Transplant Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Disease – Pathogenesis and Immunotherapy

    Read more