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Risk factors for rejection for morphological reasons of heart valves for transplantation


The study aim was to identify risk factors for morphological rejection of aortic and pulmonary valves for transplantation that could be used to optimize donor selection. The files of all Dutch heart valve donors, donating in a 2.5 years period, whose hearts were processed at Heart Valve Bank Rotterdam, were reviewed for all factors that could be relevant for valve rejection and related to outcome of morphological assessment of the valves. Valves were retrieved from 813 deceased Dutch donors, 24.1% also donating organs. For 797 aortic and 767 pulmonary valves, who met retrieval criteria, morphological assessment was done. 69.5% of aortic and 37.5% of pulmonary valves were considered unsuitable for transplantation at morphological assessment. Backward stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, showed age, cardiac cause of death, cerebrovascular accident as cause of death or in medical history, and number of cardiovascular risk factors in a donor to be independent risk factors for morphological rejection of aortic valves. Age, sex, weight >100 kg and ruptured aortic aneurysm as cause of death were independent risk factors for morphological rejection of pulmonary valves. Being an organ donor was an independent predictor of morphological approval of aortic and pulmonary valves, while hypertension was an independent predictor for morphological approval of aortic valves. Thus, independent factors were identified that are associated with morphological rejection of aortic and pulmonary valves for transplantation, and that could be used to optimize donor selection by preventing unnecessary retrievals, limiting costs, while improving yield per donor with minimal compromise for availability.

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Correspondence to Marja J. van Wijk.

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van Wijk, M.J., van den Bogaerdt, A. & Bokhorst, A.G. Risk factors for rejection for morphological reasons of heart valves for transplantation. Cell Tissue Bank 14, 125–132 (2013).

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  • Heart valves
  • Transplantation
  • Homograft
  • Risk factors
  • Morphology