Molecular Diagnostic Testing in Cardiac Transplantation


Purpose of Review

Acute rejection is one of the most feared complications of cardiac transplantation. Developing non-invasive methods for detection and surveillance of acute rejection have long been a goal for post-transplant care.

Recent Findings

Here, we will review molecular diagnostic tests that are currently in use or under development to diagnose acute cellular rejection after cardiac transplantation.


Gene expression, microRNA, molecular microscope, and cell-free DNA assays offer non-invasive alternatives to the endomyocardial biopsy for acute rejection surveillance.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kiran Khush.

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Conflict of Interest

Kiran Khush reports grants and personal fees from CareDx., Inc., and he has a patent WSGR 47697-703.711 licensed to Karius, Inc.

Shirin Zarafshar declares no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Additional information

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Heart Failure

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Khush, K., Zarafshar, S. Molecular Diagnostic Testing in Cardiac Transplantation. Curr Cardiol Rep 19, 118 (2017).

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  • Rejection surveillance
  • Cellular rejection
  • Antibody-mediated rejection
  • Gene expression profiling