eISSN: 1897-4252
ISSN: 1731-5530
Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska/Polish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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vol. 14
Review paper

The significance of neonatal thymectomy for shaping the immune system in children with congenital heart defects

Małgorzata Stosio
Jakub Ruszkowski
Anna Mikosik-Roczyńska
Ireneusz Haponiuk
Jacek M. Witkowski

Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska 2017; 14 (4): 258-262
Online publish date: 2017/12/22
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The thymus plays an important role in the development of the immune cell pool; it serves as the primary location for

T-lymphocyte maturation. Early cardiac surgical interventions for congenital heart defects are necessarily associated with thymectomy, i.e. the partial or complete removal of the thymus. A newborn infant already has a functioning thymus and developed cells of the immune system. However, thymectomy eliminates the primary location where T cells differentiate and mature. This study summarizes the current knowledge of the cellular disturbances and potential clinical consequences associated with performing thymectomy in children treated surgically for congenital heart defects.

thymus, congenital heart defect, thymectomy, naive T lymphocyte

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