Usefulness of routine surveillance endomyocardial biopsy 6 months after heart transplantation

Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Houston, TX, USA.
The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation (Impact Factor: 6.65). 05/2012; 31(8):845-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2012.03.015
Source: PubMed


Endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) remains the gold standard for detecting rejection episodes in orthotopic heart transplant (OTH) patients. Follow-up protocols vary widely between transplant centers. At our center, we have implemented a conservative strategy protocol and here we report our outcomes.
Patients from 2 cohorts were used for comparison analysis. OHT recipients from 1990 to 1995 comprised the standard strategy group, and those from 2004 to 2009 comprised the conservative strategy group. Survival outcomes and rejection episodes were compared between groups.
Mean age at OHT was 56 ± 10 years in the standard strategy group and 53 ± 10 years in the conservative strategy group. Both groups were predominantly composed of white men. The etiology of congestive heart failure was ischemic cardiomyopathy in more than 50% of the patients in both groups. From 6 to 12 months after OHT, we found that the number of episodes of rejection/total number of EMBs was 4.9% (8/163) in the standard group vs 2.0% (1/50) in the conservative group. From 12 to 24 months after transplant, the rate was 2.5% (8/320) in the standard group vs 11.9% (5/42) in the conservative group (p < 0.05).
Surveillance EMB after 6 months post-OHT in patients receiving contemporary immunosuppression is associated with a low yield of EMB-confirmed rejection in the absence of a clinical indication or echocardiographic findings that support clinical rejection. Most episodes of cellular rejection are mild and do not warrant treatment or a change in immunosuppression. The frequency of EMBs did not correlate with an increased risk of cardiac allograft vasculopathy or death.

7 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is limited evidence regarding the utility of circulating DSA in surveillance for AMR of pediatric heart recipients. Our hypothesis is that quantitation of DSA improves their power for predicting a C4d+, an integral component in the current diagnostic criteria of AMR. All pediatric recipients transplanted between 10/2005 and 1/2011 were retrospectively reviewed for DSA determined within 48 h of EMB. C4d+ was defined as >25% endothelial cell staining by immunohistochemical methods. A total of 183 paired DSA-EMB determinations were identified in 60 patients, a median of three paired studies per patient (range: 1-9). DSA were detected in 60 of these determinations. A receiver-operating characteristic plot identified a threshold single-antibody MFI of >6000 that strongly correlated with C4d+ (p < 0.0001) with a high negative predictive value (0.97) and specificity (0.95). The sensitivity and positive predictive values were 0.71 and 0.60, respectively. The predictive power of single-antigen DSA for C4d deposition was improved in pediatric heart recipients using an institution-specific MFI threshold value. In post-transplant care, quantitative DSA should be an essential component in the surveillance for AMR.
    Pediatric Transplantation 03/2013; 17(5). DOI:10.1111/petr.12075 · 1.44 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Important developments have occurred during the past 2 years in the field of heart transplantation. These include refinements in donor management, preservation, and allocation, and evaluation of immunosuppression strategies for rejection and for allograft vascular disease. Finally, long-term outcomes addressing areas of significant morbidity for patients, including renal dysfunction and cancer, have seen important advances. This contemporary review will highlight the key articles for 2012 to 2013. © 2014 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
    The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 08/2014; 33(8). DOI:10.1016/j.healun.2014.04.019 · 6.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Despite low risk of late rejection after heart transplant (HT), surveillance endomyocardial biopsies (EMBs) are often continued for years. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of routine EMB after 12 months post-HT. Methods and results: Markov model compared the following surveillance EMB strategies to baseline strategy of stopping EMB 12 months post-HT: (1) every 4 months during year 2 post-HT, (2) every 6 months during year 2, (3) every 4 months for years 2 to 3, and (4) every 6 months for years 2 to 3. Patients entered the model 12 months post-HT and were followed until 36 months. In all strategies, patients had EMB with symptoms; in biopsy strategies after 12 months, EMB was also performed as scheduled regardless of symptoms. One-way and Monte Carlo sensitivity analyses were performed. Stopping EMB at 12 months was dominant (more effective, less costly), saving $2884 per patient compared with the next best strategy (every 6 months for year 2) and gaining 0.0011 quality-adjusted life-years. Increasing the annual risk of asymptomatic rejection in years 2 to 3 from previously reported 2.5% to 8.5% resulted in the biopsy every 6 months for year 2 strategy gaining 0.0006 quality-adjusted life-years, but cost $4 913 599 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. EMB for 12 months was also no longer dominant when mortality risk from untreated asymptomatic rejection approached 11%; competing strategies still cost >$200 000 per quality-adjusted life-year as that risk approached 99%. Conclusions: Surveillance EMB for 12 months post-HT is more effective and less costly than EMB performed after 12 months, unless risks of asymptomatic cellular rejection and its mortality are strikingly higher than previously observed.
    Circulation Heart Failure 08/2014; 7(5). DOI:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.114.001199 · 5.89 Impact Factor
Show more