The electrophysiology of cardiac allograft rejection: Independent effects of rejection and perioperative ischemia on the sinus node recovery phenomenon after cardiac transplantation
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We characterized the effect of cardiac allograft rejection on the sinus node (SN) recovery response from overdrive suppression. A total of 54 corresponding data sets (SN recovery time [SNRT]/endomyocardial biopsy [EMB]) was available in 24 transplant recipients with normal SNRT. Data were pooled in the rejection vs the no-rejection group (n=16 vs n=38, respectively).
During cardiac rejection (defined as a 7-day period starting 3 days prior to and lasting until 3 days after the EMB) the SNRT curves were moderately, but significantly shifted towards higher values (F=13.4, p=.0003). All changes occurred within accepted normal limits for the SNRT. Multivariate analysis indicated independent effects of donor heart ischemic time (p=.0005) on SNRT in addition to that of rejection. After accounting for that influence of ischemic time respective F values regarding the influence of rejection on the SNRT excursions were 10.8 (ischemic time<100 min, p=.0014) and 4.36 (ischemic time≥100 min, p=.039).
This study shows that cardiac allograft rejection significantly delays the SN recovery response from overdrive suppression. These changes, however, are subtle and, hence, are an unlikely explanation for the often grossly abnormal postoperative SN function.
Key wordsSinus noderecovery time rejection cardiactransplantation donorheartischemic time
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