C4d DSA Dataset 11/2010 - 4/2023
Background: C4d immunostaining of surveillance endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) and testing for donor specific antibodies (DSA) are routinely performed in the first year of heart transplantation (HTx) in adult patients. C4d immunostaining and DSA positivity have not been evaluated together with respect to clinical outcomes in the contemporary era (2010–current). Methods: This was a single center, retrospective study of consecutive EMBs performed between November 2010 and April 2023. The primary objective was to determine whether history of C4d immunostaining and/or DSA positivity could predict death, cardiac death, or retransplant. Secondary analyses included cardiac allograft dysfunction and cardiac allograft vasculopathy. Cox proportional hazards models were used for single predictor and multipredictor analyses. Results: A total of 6,033 EMBs from 519 HTx patients were reviewed for the study. There was no significant difference (p = 0.110) in all-cause mortality or cardiac retransplant between four groups: C4d+/DSA+, C4d+/DSA-, C4d-/DSA+, and C4d-/DSA-. The risk for cardiac mortality or retransplant was significantly higher in C4d+/DSA+ versus C4d-/DSA- patients (HR = 4.73; pc = 0.042) but not significantly different in C4d+/DSA- versus C4d-/DSA- patients (pc = 1.000). Similarly, the risk for cardiac allograft dysfunction was significantly higher in C4d+/DSA+ versus C4d-/DSA- patients (HR 3.26; pc = 0.001) but not significantly different in C4d+/DSA- versus C4d-/DSA- patients (pc = 1.000). Accounting for nonadherence, C4d/DSA status continued to predict cardiac allograft dysfunction but no longer predicted cardiac death or retransplant. Conclusions: Medically adherent C4d+/DSA+ HTx patients show significantly greater risk for cardiac allograft dysfunction but not cardiac mortality or retransplant. In contrast, C4d+/DSA- patients represent a new immunopathologic group with a clinical course similar to that of HTx patients without antibody mediated rejection.
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The authors retrospectively analyzed all biopsies collected at UC San Diego between November 2010 and April 2023 to consider the clinical outcomes for patients based on both C4d and DSA positivity. Data collected included clinical outcomes, clinical parameters, and demographic information.