Biomarkers to Assess Right Heart Pressures in Recipients of a Heart Transplant: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Transplant Direct. 2018 Apr 23;4(5):e346. doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000000783. eCollection 2018 May.


Background: This proof-of-concept study investigated the feasibility of using biomarkers to monitor right heart pressures (RHP) in heart transplanted (HTx) patients.

Methods: In 298 patients, we measured 7.6 years post-HTx mean pressures in the right atrium (mRAP) and pulmonary artery (mPAP) and capillaries (mPCWP) along with plasma high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT), a marker of cardiomyocyte injury, and the multidimensional urinary classifiers HF1 and HF2, mainly consisting of dysregulated collagen fragments.

Results: In multivariable models, mRAP and mPAP increased with hsTnT (per 1-SD, +0.91 and +1.26 mm Hg; P < 0.0001) and with HF2 (+0.42 and +0.62 mm Hg; P ≤ 0.035), but not with HF1. mPCWP increased with hsTnT (+1.16 mm Hg; P < 0.0001), but not with HF1 or HF2. The adjusted odds ratios for having elevated RHP (mRAP, mPAP or mPCWP ≥10, ≥24, ≥17 mm Hg, respectively) were 1.99 for hsTnT and 1.56 for HF2 (P ≤ 0.005). In detecting elevated RHPs, areas under the curve were similar for hsTnT and HF2 (0.63 vs 0.65; P = 0.66). Adding hsTnT continuous or per threshold or HF2 continuous to a basic model including all covariables did not increase diagnostic accuracy (P ≥ 0.11), whereas adding HF2 per optimized threshold increased both the integrated discrimination (+1.92%; P = 0.023) and net reclassification (+30.3%; P = 0.010) improvement.

Conclusions: Correlating RHPs with noninvasive biomarkers in HTx patients is feasible. However, further refinement and validation of such biomarkers is required before their clinical application can be considered.