Analysis of the Influence of HLA-A Matching Relative to HLA-B and -DR Matching on Heart Transplant Outcomes

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BackgroundThere are conflicting reports on the effect of donor-recipient HLA matching on outcomes in heart transplantation. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of HLA-A matching relative to HLA-B and -DR matching on long-term survival in heart transplantation.MethodsA total of 25 583 patients transplanted between 1988 and 2011 were identified from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation registry. Transplants were divided into 2 donor-recipient matching groups: HLA-A–compatible (no HLA-A mismatches) and HLA-A–incompatible (1-2 HLA-A mismatches). Primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes were graft failure-, cardiovascular-, infection-, or malignancy-related deaths.ResultsThe risk of all-cause mortality 15 years after transplantation was higher for HLA-A–compatible (vs HLA-A–incompatible) grafts in patients who had HLA-B–, HLA-DR–, or HLA-B,DR–incompatible grafts (P = 0.027, P = 0.007, and P = 0.002, respectively) but not in HLA-B– and/or HLA-DR–compatible grafts. This was confirmed in multivariable Cox regression analysis where HLA-A compatibility (vs HLA-A incompatibility) was associated with higher mortality in transplants incompatible for HLA-DR or HLA-B and -DR (hazard ratio [HR], 1.59; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.11-2.28; P = 0.012 and HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.17-2.43; P = 0.005, respectively). In multivariable analysis, the largest compromise in survival for HLA-A compatibility (vs HLA-incompatibility) was for chronic rejection in HLA-B– and -DR–incompatible grafts (HR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.22-3.01; P = 0.005).ConclusionsDecreased long-term survival in heart transplantation was associated with HLA-A compatibility in HLA-B,DR–incompatible grafts.

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