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Keywords:

  • Allograft function;
  • brain death;
  • cardiac allograft;
  • cardiac transplant;
  • cohort study;
  • donor evaluation;
  • donor management;
  • donor outcomes;
  • genetic polymorphism;
  • genotyping

Prior studies have demonstrated associations between beta-adrenergic receptor (βAR) polymorphisms and left ventricular dysfunction—an important cause of allograft nonutilization for transplantation. We hypothesized that βAR polymorphisms predispose donor hearts to LV dysfunction after brain death. A total of 1043 organ donors managed from 2001–2006 were initially studied. The following βAR single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped: β1AR 1165C/G (Arg389Gly), β1AR 145A/G (Ser49Gly), β2AR 46G/A (Gly16Arg) and β2AR 79C/G (Gln27Glu). In multivariable regression analyses, the β2AR46 SNP was significantly associated with LV systolic dysfunction, with each minor allele additively decreasing the odds for LV ejection fraction <50%. The β1AR1165 and β2AR46 SNPs were associated with higher dopamine requirement during the donor management period: donors with the GG and AA genotypes had ORs of 2.64 (95% CI 1.52–4.57) and 2.70 (1.07–2.74) respectively for requiring >10 μg/kg/min of dopamine compared to those with the CC and GG genotypes. However, no significant associations were found between βAR SNPs and cardiac dysfunction in 364 donors managed from 2007–2008, perhaps due to changes in donor management, lack of power in this validation cohort, or the absence of a true association. βAR polymorphisms may be associated with cardiac dysfunction after brain death, but these relationships require further study in independent donor cohorts.