Personalized treatment in heart transplantation

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Purpose of review

We are entering the era of personalized medicine, in which pharmacogenomics and biomarker-based assays can be used to tailor diagnostic tests and drug therapies to individual patients. This new approach to patient-specific care offers the potential to maximize the efficacy of available medical treatments while reducing the incidence of adverse side effects. Here, we present approaches to personalize the care of heart transplant recipients.

Recent findings

Four strategies for personalized posttransplant care are described, including use of pharmacogenomic data to individualize the use of immunosuppressive drugs, immune monitoring to prevent acute rejection while reducing the long-term consequences of over immunosuppression, noninvasive surveillance for acute rejection, and targeted prophylaxis against opportunistic infections.


The long-term survival of heart transplant recipients is limited by side effects of immunosuppressive drugs, including infectious complications, renal dysfunction, and malignancy. We discuss strategies to maximize the benefits of immunosuppressive and prophylactic therapies while minimizing their long-term toxicities.

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