Vol 28, No 5 (2021)
Original Article
Published online: 2020-02-11

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Predisposing factors for late mortality in heart transplant patients

Emyal Alyaydin1, Henryk Welp2, Holger Reinecke1, Izabela Tuleta1
Pubmed: 32052856
Cardiol J 2021;28(5):746-757.


Background: Because of the growing prevalence of terminal heart failure on the one hand and organ shortage on the other hand, an optimal care of heart transplant recipients based on the knowledge of potential risk factors not only early, but also in a long-term course after heart transplantation is of great importance. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify predisposing factors for late mortality in this patient collective.
Methods: Data from long-term heart transplant patients collected during follow-up visits in the current center were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical, laboratory, including immune monitoring and apparative examination results were studied with regard to all-cause mortality.
Results: One hundred and seventy-two patients after heart transplantation (mean: 13.2 ± 6.4 years) were divided into two groups: survivors (n = 133) and non-survivors (n = 39). In comparison with survivors, non-survivors were characterized by significantly more pronounced renal insufficiency with more frequent dialysis, anemia and worse functional status. Additionally, non-survivors obtained hearts from relevantly more obese donors. In a multivariate Cox regression analysis the following parameters were shown to be independent risk factors for increased mortality: CD4 percentage < 42%, C-reactive protein ≥ 0.5 mg/dL, presence of rejections requiring therapies in the past, onset of cardiac allograft vasculopathy < 5 years following heart transplantation and no use of beta-blockers.
Conclusions: Low CD4+ cell percentages, sustained inflammation, relevant organ rejections, early onset of transplant vasculopathy and no use of beta-blockers are risk factors for higher mortality in a long-term follow-up after heart transplantation.

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