Management of the sensitized adult heart transplant candidate

Peter M. Eckman, Mazen Hanna, David O. Taylor, Randall C. Starling, Gonzalo V. Gonzalez-Stawinski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Heart transplant recipients sensitized to human leukocyte antigens comprise a challenging subgroup of patients. Sensitization has been associated with a variety of effects that determine short-term and long-term outcomes. These include a higher rate of acute rejection and graft loss, and a heightened risk for developing cardiac allograft vasculopathy. Because of improvements in both tissue typing and immunomodulatory therapies coupled with the growing population receiving mechanical circulatory support/LVAD, the percent of sensitized patients listed for heart transplantation has increased, inflicting a greater burden to the already scarce donor pool. Despite these potentially adverse developments, pre-transplant immunologic management has resulted in decreased waiting times and outcomes that were not possible over 10 yr ago. The following review will focus on the contemporary management of the sensitized heart transplant candidate and highlight therapies that have allowed the successful transplantation of this growing and challenging patient population, including several approaches in development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-734
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart
  • Management
  • Sensitized
  • Transplantation


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