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1.  Occurrence of Fatal and Nonfatal Adverse Outcomes after Heart Transplantation in Patients with Pretransplant Noncytotoxic HLA Antibodies 
Journal of Transplantation  2013;2013:519680.
HLA antibodies (HLA ab) in transplant candidates have been associated with poor outcome. However, clinical relevance of noncytotoxic antibodies after heart transplant (HT) is controversial. By using a Luminex-based HLA screening, we retested pretransplant sera from HT recipients testing negative for cytotoxic HLA ab and for prospective crossmatch. Out of the 173 consecutive patients assayed (52 ± 13y; 16% females; 47% ischemic etiology), 32 (18%) showed pretransplant HLA ab, and 12 (7%) tested positive against both class I and class II HLA. Recipients with any HLA ab had poorer survival than those without (65 ± 9 versus 82 ± 3%; P = 0.02), accounting for a doubled independent mortality risk (P = 0.04). In addition, HLA-ab detection was associated with increased prevalence of early graft failure (35 versus 15%; P = 0.05) and late cellular rejection (29 versus 11%; P = 0.03). Of the subgroup of 37 patients suspected for antibody mediated rejection (AMR), the 9 with pretransplant HLA ab were more likely to display pathological AMR grade 2 (P = 0.04). By an inexpensive, luminex-based, HLA-screening assay, we were able to detect non-cytotoxic HLA ab predicting fatal and nonfatal adverse outcomes after heart transplant. Allocation strategies and desensitization protocols need to be developed and prospectively tested in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3745955  PMID: 23984043
2.  QRS pattern and improvement in right and left ventricular function after cardiac resynchronization therapy: a radionuclide study 
Predicting response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) remains a challenge. We evaluated the role of baseline QRS pattern to predict response in terms of improvement in biventricular ejection fraction (EF).
Consecutive patients (pts) undergoing CRT implantation underwent radionuclide angiography at baseline and at mid-term follow-up. The relationship between baseline QRS pattern and mechanical dyssynchrony using phase analysis was evaluated. Changes in left and right ventricular EF (LVEF and RVEF) were analyzed with regard to baseline QRS pattern.
We enrolled 56 pts, 32 with left bundle branch block (LBBB), 4 with right bundle branch block (RBBB) and 20 with non-specific intraventricular conduction disturbance (IVCD). A total of 48 pts completed follow-up. LBBB pts had significantly greater improvement in LVEF compared to RBBB or non-specific IVCD pts (+9.6 ± 10.9% vs. +2.6 ± 7.6%, p = 0.003). Response (defined as ≥ 5% increase in LVEF) was observed in 68% of LBBB vs. 24% of non-specific IVCD pts (p = 0.006). None of the RBBB pts were responders. RVEF was significantly improved in LBBB (+5.0 ± 9.0%, p = 0.007), but not in non-specific IVCD and RBBB pts (+0.4 ± 5.8%, p = 0.76). At multivariate analysis, LBBB was the only predictor of LVEF response (OR, 7.45; 95% CI 1.80-30.94; p = 0.006), but not QRS duration or extent of mechanical dyssynchrony.
Presence of a LBBB is a marker of a positive response to CRT in terms of biventricular improvement. Pts with non-LBBB pattern show significantly less benefit from CRT than those with LBBB.
PMCID: PMC3352038  PMID: 22494365
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; Left ventricular ejection fraction; Right ventricular ejection fraction; Dyssynchrony; Nuclear angiography; QRS morphology

Results 1-2 (2)