• pediatric heart transplant;
  • HLA;
  • anti-HLA antibody;
  • survival;
  • outcome

Richmond ME, Hsu DT, Mosca RS, Chen J, Quaegebeur JM, Addonizio LJ, Lamour JM. Outcomes in pediatric cardiac transplantation with a positive HLA cross-match. Pediatr Transplantation 2012: 16: 29–35. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  Previous studies have shown poor outcomes in pediatric heart transplant recipients with a high PRA or a positive direct donor–recipient cross-match. This study describes outcomes in patients with a positive cross-match at a large pediatric program. Pediatric heart transplant patients at a large single center between January 1993 and July 2009 were reviewed; those with cross-match data were analyzed. Cross-match data were available in 242/262 (92.4%) patients. Indications for transplant were cardiomyopathy (58%), CHD (32%), and retransplant (7%). PRA was ≥10% in 31/213 (14.6%) patients. A retrospective cross-match was positive in 17/31 (55%) patients with PRA ≥10% and 0/182 with PRA <10%. In positive cross-match patients, rejection frequency in the first year post-transplant was higher than negative cross-match patients (1.69 vs. 0.96 episodes/pt year, p = 0.014). There was no difference in rejection frequency after the first year post-transplant (0.18 vs. 0.12 episodes/pt year, p = 0.14). Overall survival was not significantly different between the groups with a median follow-up time of 4.5 yr. Heart transplantation in patients with a positive cross-match may result in good medium-term survival but a higher frequency of early rejection. Further investigation is warranted to define which patients with a positive cross-match will do poorly.