Identifying Recipients at High Risk for Graft Failure After Heart Retransplantation

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Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to identify recipient factors that are associated with a high risk of graft failure after heart retransplantation (HRT).

Methods

The prospectively collected United Network for Organ Sharing registry was used to identify patients undergoing HRT among 24,477 patients who had undergone cardiac transplantation between 1997 and 2009. The primary outcome was graft failure within 1 year of HRT. The impact of 35 recipient variables on the primary outcome was tested in exploratory univariate logistic regression analysis. Those factors found to be significantly associated with graft failure were entered into a multivariable logistic regression model.

Results

A total of 671 patients underwent HRT during the study period. Overall, 302 (45%) grafts failed after HRT at a mean follow-up of 4.3 ± 3.7 years. Three recipient factors were found to be associated with 1-year graft failure in the multivariate model: older age, increasing serum creatinine, and mechanical ventilation before HRT. Moreover, each decade increase in recipient age was associated with a 20% increase in odds of 1-year graft failure (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.04; p = 0.005). Similarly, each 1-mg/dL increase in serum creatinine increased odds of graft failure by 58% (odds ratio, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.27 to 1.97; p < 0.001). Patients who were mechanically ventilated had a fourfold higher likelihood of 1-year graft failure (odds ratio, 4.32; 95% confidence interval, 2.28 to 8.18; p < 0.001).

Conclusions

The risk of graft failure after HRT increases with an increasing number of significant recipient risk factors, namely older age, increasing serum creatinine, and mechanical ventilation. These risk factors should serve as relative contraindications to HRT, especially when present in combination, given the higher rate of graft failure in these patients.

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