Heart Transplant Program

Evaluation Process

The Heart Transplant Journey

Every child referred to the Heart Transplant Program at Texas Children’s Hospital is evaluated thoroughly by our multidisciplinary team. This evaluation period is critical in determining whether  your child will benefit from a heart transplant or be followed for further medical and/or surgical management with collaborating cardiologists within the Heart Center.

Consultation and testing

To be as thorough as possible, a complete evaluation requires multiple business days of consultations and testing. The evaluation may be inpatient or outpatient based on your child’s clinical status. Your child’s evaluation will be customized towards their unique medical condition and generally consists of the following tests, imaging, and in-person consultations:

  • Blood tests including tissue typing and assessment of other organ function
  • Cardiac catheterization to measure heart pressure and take pictures to evaluate the heart
  • Chest X-ray,a picture of the heart and lungs
  • Child life specialist evaluation
  • Dental exam
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO), an ultrasound of the heart
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) to measure the heart’s rhythm and heartbeat
  • Financial consultation
  • Infectious disease and immune system evaluation
  • Neuropsychological evaluation
  • Nutrition evaluation
  • Occupational therapy evaluation
  • Pharmacological evaluation
  • Physical therapy evaluation
  • Social work evaluation
  • Urine and stool studies

Once these consultations and tests are complete, all potential transplant candidates will be presented to the Heart Transplant Medical Review Board. Members include all representatives from the multidisciplinary team, including those that performed the in-person evaluations listed above. Board members will decide if a heart transplant is a good option for your child. You will be notified of their decision after the meeting by the transplant coordinator, cardiologist, or advanced practice provider in addition to a letter from the medical review board.