Noninvasive heart transplant rejection surveillance using gene expression profiling (GEP) to monitor immune activation is widely used among heart transplant programs. With the new development of donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) assays, more programs are transitioning to a predominantly noninvasive rejection surveillance protocol with a reduced frequency of endomyocardial biopsies. As a result, many practical questions arise that potentially delay implementation of these valuable new tools. The purpose of this review is to provide practical guidance for clinicians transitioning toward a less invasive acute rejection monitoring protocol after heart transplantation, and to answer 10 common questions about the GEP and dd-cfDNA assays. Evidence supporting GEP and dd-cfDNA testing is reviewed, as well as guidance on test interpretation and future directions.
Keywords: biomarker; biopsy; dd-cfDNA; gene expression profiling; heart transplant; rejection.
Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.