Conservative management of late rejection after heart transplantation: A 10-year analysis

John R. Doty, Peter L. Walinsky, Jorge D. Salazar, Diane E. Alejo, Peter S. Greene, William A. Baumgartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Immunosuppressive regimens for rejection after heart transplantation have been modified to reduce infectious complications without diminishing rejection treatment efficacy. A review of a single institutional series was performed to evaluate the influence of conservative management of grade 2 rejection on long-term outcomes after heart transplantation. Methods: Before 1990, patients with late (>3 months after transplant) grade 2 rejection were treated with supplemental immunosuppressive drugs. Beginning in 1990, patients with late grade 2 rejection were treated conservatively by maintaining the current immunosuppressive regimen without additional therapy. The groups were compared for survival, incidence of subsequent rejection, and incidence of subsequent infection. Results: One hundred twelve patients had one or more episodes of isolated, late grade 2 rejection; 39 (35%) were treated with supplemental immunosuppression (treated group) and 73 (65%) received no additional therapy (nontreated group). The mean time from transplantation to the first episode of isolated grade 2 rejection was 15.6 months in the treated group and 17.8 months in the nontreated group. Graft survival at 5 and 10 years was 69% and 51%, respectively, in the treated group and 67% and 41%, respectively, in the nontreated group (p = 0.77). The rates for overall subsequent rejection were 0.031 episodes/patient-month in the treated group and 0.029 episodes/patient-month in the nontreated group (p = 0.64). The rates for early rejection within 6 months of initial grade 2 rejection were 0.044 episodes/patient-month in the treated group and 0.035 episodes/patient-month in the nontreated group (p = 0.56). The rates for overall subsequent infection were 0.018 episodes/patient-month in the treated group and 0.012 episodes/patient-month in the nontreated group (p = 0.05). The rates for early infection within 6 months of initial grade 2 rejection were 0.070 episodes/patient-month in the treated group and 0.032 episodes/patient-month in the nontreated group (p = 0.04). Group comparisons demonstrated a significantly lower incidence of infection in the nontreated group. Conclusions: Conservative management of late grade 2 rejection neither adversely affects survival nor increases the incidence of subsequent short- term or long-term rejection. This approach lowers the early and late incidence of infection after rejection and may reduce other complications from aggressive supplemental immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgery
Volume228
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Conservative management of late rejection after heart transplantation: A 10-year analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this