Molecular testing impact: Heart transplant patients benefit from new technology, easier monitoring

New technology for cardiac transplant patients indicates a patient's risk of organ rejection with a simple blood test. News of this revolutionary testing method will be presented today at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation's (ISHLT) Annual Meeting and Scientific Session in Philadelphia.

This breakthrough in molecular testing is a non-invasive method that translates the complex signals of the immune system's multiple genes and pathways into an objective, actionable score. Along with proactive monitoring of the patient's immune system, physicians can now use this test to identify rejection and tissue damage before it occurs.

Mandeep Mehra, M.D., head of the Division of Cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore, praises the new development in a symposium held during the ISHLT meeting.

"In the past decade, this is truly one of the most important breakthroughs in the field of heart transplantation," said Mehra. "Now that we have a test based on analysis of the human genome, we can begin to better understand why tissue and organ rejection occurs and use that knowledge to improve individual patient outcomes."

The symposium will highlight AlloMapTM molecular expression testing, which monitors the immune system with non-invasive technology and is currently being used in the management of heart transplant patients. In addition to detecting rejection, AlloMap identifies at-risk patients that biopsy misses, clarifies indeterminate biopsy results, and reduces the need for biopsies altogether.

For patients, molecular testing means less discomfort during the constant monitoring for rejection that is required for prolonged transplant success. Until recently, heart biopsy was the standard method of monitoring for transplant rejection. During this invasive procedure, a bioptome a wire with small clippers is inserted into a vein in the patient's neck or groin and thre

Contact: Lauren Mason
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation

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