Sensitization to HLA is a risk factor for adverse outcomes after heart transplantation. Requiring a negative prospective CM results in longer waiting times and increased waitlist mortality. We report outcomes in a cohort of sensitized children who underwent transplant despite a positive CDC CM+ using a protocol of antibody depletion at time of transplant, followed by serial IVIG administration. All patients <21 yrs old who underwent heart transplantation at Boston Children's Hospital from 1/1998 to 1/2011 were included. We compared freedom from allograft loss, allograft rejection, and serious infection between CM+ and CM- recipients. Of 134 patients in the cohort, 33 (25%) were sensitized prior to transplantation and 12 (9%) received a CM+ heart transplant. Serious infection in the first post-transplant year was more prevalent in the CM+ patients compared with CM- patients (50% vs. 16%; p = 0.005), as was HD-AMR (50% vs. 2%; p < 0.001). There was no difference in freedom from allograft loss or any rejection. At our center, children transplanted despite a positive CM had acceptable allograft survival and risk of any rejection, but a higher risk of HD-AMR and serious infection.
- anti-HLA antibody
- antibody-mediated rejection
- infectious risk
- pediatric heart transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health