Background: Although low (but increasing) rates of lung/lung-heart transplantations of scleroderma (systemic sclerosis [SSc]) patients have been reported, exclusive heart transplantation is a rare approach for treatment of heart failure due to SSc. Cases: We report on 2 cases of SSc patients receiving a heart transplantation (HTx) due to severe and progressive right heart failure without pulmonary artery hypertension. One patient received a hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive donor heart and recovered excellently from viral transmission after administration of a direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimen. This is the first published case of an SSc patient who underwent HTx using an HCV-positive donor heart. The clinical course of both patients was monitored by different serum SSc biomarkers. Only xylosyltransferase activity proved to be a promising biomarker for disease stage determination and therapeutic monitoring, precisely reflecting fibrotic remodeling and successful organ recovery. Conclusions: Successful implementation of the 2 cases described here demonstrates that HTx is a safe and effective therapeutic option for defined SSc sub-patient groups despite the progressive character of the underlying disease. In the future, xylosyltransferase activity might be conducive to simplify the identification of patients with low systemic involvement but a strong indication for single heart transplantation. Finally, we demonstrate that treatment of HCV viral transmission from HCV-positive donor to organ recipient using DAA gives us new opportunities to consider HCV-positive donor organs for HTx and might reveal new possibilities to ease the lack of donor organs.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 04.2019|