Outcome of antibody-mediated rejection compared to acute cellular rejection after pediatric heart transplantation

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Outcomes of ACR after pediatric HTx have been well described, but less has been reported on outcomes of AMR. We compared the clinical characteristics and cardiovascular outcomes (composite end-point of death, retransplantation, or allograft vasculopathy) of pediatric HTx recipients with AMR, ACR, and no rejection in a retrospective single-center study of 104 recipients. Twenty were treated for AMR; 15 were treated for ACR. Recipients with AMR had an increased frequency of congenital heart disease (90% vs ACR 67% vs no rejection 59%, P = .03), homograft (68% vs 7% vs 18%, P < .001), HLA sensitization (45% vs 13% vs 13%, P = .008), and positive cross-match (30% vs 7% vs 9%, P = .046). AMR caused hemodynamic compromise more often than ACR (39% vs 4%, P = .02). AMR recipients had worse cardiovascular outcome than recipients with ACR or no rejection (40% vs 20% vs 8.6%, P = .003). In bivariate Cox analysis, AMR (HR 4.1, CI 1.4-12.0, P = .009) and ischemic time (HR 1.6, CI 1.1-2.3, P = .02) were associated with worse cardiovascular outcome; ACR was not. In summary, pediatric HTx recipients who develop AMR have worse cardiovascular outcome than recipients who develop only ACR or experience no rejection at all.

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