Background and aim of the study: Rejection is a plausible cause of failure of allograft valves, but has not been demonstrated unequivocally in humans. A cross-sectional study has been conducted on the frequency of anti-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies in order to identify any correlation with allograft function in adult patients, following the Ross procedure. Methods: Anti-HLA antibodies were determined during regular follow up (median 1.1 years postoperatively) in a random sample of 197 patients (151 males, 46 females; mean age 46 ± 13 years). Panel-reactive antibodies (PRA) were determined by cytotoxicity testing; anti-HLA class 2 antibodies (HLA2AB) were determined by ELISA in a subgroup of 94 patients. Echocardiographic examinations were performed during the first visit and at a median of 6.8 years postoperatively. Results: The prevalence of positive antibody tests was 47% for PRA and 52% for HLA2AB. A slight deterioration of allograft valve function occurred between the two examinations (median maximal pressure gradient increased from 9 mmHg to 13 mmHg, p <0.001; median degree of regurgitation increased from zero to trivial, p = 0.020). The degree of regurgitation was slightly, but significantly, higher in PRA-positive patients at both examinations (p = 0.008 and p = 0.038). No relationship was observed between PRA status and pressure gradients, nor between HLA2AB status and allograft valve function. Neither were any other risk factors for allograft valve deterioration identified. Conclusion: Subtle, clinically irrelevant and temporally stable differences with regard to regurgitation across the allograft were observed between PRA-positive and -negative patients. These findings neither proved nor disproved rejection, but rather suggested that a slow deterioration of allograft valve function was complex, and most likely multifactorial.
|Journal||Journal of Heart Valve Disease|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 11.2009|