Predictors of survival to orthotopic heart transplant in patients with light chain amyloidosis

Lauren Gray Gilstrap, Emily Niehaus, Rajeev Malhotra, Van-Khue Ton, James Watts, David C Seldin, Joren C Madsen, Marc J Semigran
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2014, 33 (2): 149-56

BACKGROUND: Orthotopic heart transplant (OHT), followed by myeloablative chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT), has been successful in the treatment of amyloid light-chain (AL) cardiac amyloidosis. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of survival to OHT in patients with end-stage heart failure due to AL amyloidosis and compare post-OHT survival of cardiac amyloid patients with survival of other cardiomyopathy patients undergoing OHT.

METHODS: From January 2000 to June 2011, 31 patients with end-stage heart failure secondary to AL amyloidosis were listed for OHT at Massachusetts General Hospital. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses identified predictors of survival to OHT. Kaplan-Meier analysis compared survival between the Massachusetts General Hospital amyloidosis patients and non-amyloid cardiomyopathy patients from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

RESULTS: Low body mass index was the only predictor of survival to OHT in patients with end-stage heart failure caused by cardiac amyloidosis. Survival of cardiac amyloid patients who died before receiving a donor heart was only 63 ± 45 days after listing. Patients who survived to OHT received a donor organ at 53 ± 48 days after listing. Survival of AL amyloidosis patients on the waiting list was less than patients on the waiting list for all other non-amyloid diagnoses. The long-term survival of amyloid patients who underwent OHT was no different than the survival of non-amyloid, restrictive (p = 0.34), non-amyloid dilated (p = 0.34), or all non-amyloid cardiomyopathy patients (p = 0.22) in the SRTR database.

CONCLUSIONS: Amyloid patients who survive to OHT, followed by ASCT, have a survival rate similar to other cardiomyopathy patients undergoing OHT; however, 35% of the patients died awaiting OHT. The only predictor of survival to OHT in AL amyloidosis patients was a low body mass index, which correlated with a shorter time on the waiting list. To optimize the survival of these patients, access to donor organs must be improved.

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