David Ansari, Dragan Bućin, Peter Höglund, Mattias Ohlsson, Bodil Andersson and Johan Nilsson
Analysis of the Influence of HLA-A Matching Relative to HLA-B and -DR Matching on Heart Transplant Outcomes
LU TP 15-31

Background: There are conflicting reports on the effect of donor-recipient HLA matching on outcomes in heart transplantation. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of HLA-A matching relative to HLA-B and -DR matching on long-term survival in heart transplantation.

Methods: A total of 25 583 patients transplanted between 1988 and 2011 were identified from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation registry. Transplants were divided into 2 donor-recipient matching groups: HLA-A-compatible (no HLA-A mismatches) and HLA-A-incompatible (1-2 HLA-A mismatches). Primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes were graft failure-, cardiovascular-, infection-, or malignancy-related deaths.

Results: The risk of all-cause mortality 15 years after transplantation was higher for HLA-A-compatible (vs HLA-A-incompatible) grafts in patients who had HLA-B-, HLA-DR-, or HLA-B,DR-incompatible grafts (P = 0.027, P = 0.007, and P = 0.002, respectively) but not in HLA-B- and/or HLA-DR-compatible grafts. This was confirmed in multivariable Cox regression analysis where HLA-A compatibility (vs HLA-A incompatibility) was associated with higher mortality in transplants incompatible for HLA-DR or HLA-B and -DR (hazard ratio [HR], 1.59; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.11-2.28; P = 0.012 and HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.17-2.43; P = 0.005, respectively). In multivariable analysis, the largest compromise in survival for HLA-A compatibility (vs HLA-incompatibility) was for chronic rejection in HLA-B- and -DR-incompatible grafts (HR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.22-3.01; P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Decreased long-term survival in heart transplantation was associated with HLA-A compatibility in HLA-B,DR-incompatible grafts.

LU TP 15-31