Background. Noninvasive methodologies have shown poor sensitivity in predicting rejection when compared to serial endomyocardial biopsies. We studied the potential role of donor blood troponin T (Tn-T) as a marker for predicting heart transplant rejection. Methods. Blood cardiac Tn-T was measured from 16 heart donors. Transplant rejection and cardiac function in the recipients were monitored for 1 year. Results. When data were analyzed based on donor blood Tn-T levels, 6 patients who received hearts from donors with low Tn-T (<0.45 ± 0.1 ng/mL) showed no rejection, and patients whose hearts came from donors with higher Tn-T (6.01 ± 0.81 ng/mL) developed episodes of high-grade rejection (3A) within 38.5 ± 2.1 days after transplantation. Eight patients who received hearts from donors with intermediate levels of Tn-T (3.57 ± 0.55 ng/mL) showed mild rejection (grade 1). All recipients had qualitatively normal left ventricular systolic function by serial echocardiography. The mean donor ischemic time was 169 ± 47 minutes. Conclusions. The quality of the donor heart is an important prognostic factor in heart transplantation. It may be possible to identify severely damaged donor organs before transplantation and avoid their use or to develop more aggressive strategies for reducing recurrent acute rejection episodes in high-risk patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine