The impact of mean first-year heart rate on outcomes after heart transplantation: does it make a difference?

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Background:Cardiac denervation following transplantation has a variable effect on heart rate (HR), and the consequence of this is not known. We examined the impact of first-year HR on five-yr outcomes after heart transplant.Methods:We evaluated 544 heart transplant recipients from 1994 to 2008. Patients were divided into groups by mean first-year HR: group 1, HR < 90 (mean 85.0 ± 4.3); group 2, 90 ≤ HR < 110 (mean 97.8 ± 4.9); group 3, HR ≥ 110 (mean 111.5 ± 1.8). Endpoints included one-yr freedom from treated rejection, five-yr survival, five-yr freedom from cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), and five-yr freedom from non-fatal major adverse cardiac events (NF-MACE).Results:One-yr freedom from treated rejection, five-yr survival and freedom from CAV were not significantly different between groups. Five-yr freedom from NF-MACE was significantly lower in group 3 compared with group 2, 69% vs. 91%, p < 0.01, mainly due to higher prevalence of congestive heart failure (CHF) in group 3 over five yr.Conclusions:Mean first-year HR does not provide prognostic significance for one-yr freedom from treated rejection, five-yr survival or development of CAV five yr after heart transplant. These results suggest that HR post-heart transplantation does not affect long-term outcomes, but high first-year HRs may be associated with new-onset CHF.

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