Procalcitonin, a donor-specific predictor of early graft failure-related mortality after heart transplantation

F. D. Wagner, B. Jonitz, E. V. Potapov, N. Qedra, K. Wegscheider, K. Abraham, E. A. Ivanitskaia, M. Loebe, R. Hetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background - To date, donor-specific markers to predict outcome after heart transplantation (HTx) are unknown. Increased procalcitonin (PCT) levels have been found in infectious inflammation with systemic reactions and/or poor organ perfusion but have not been studied in heart donors. We evaluated PCT as a predictor of early graft failure-related mortality after HTx. Methods and Results - PCT and C-reactive protein (CRP) serum concentrations were measured in samples collected immediately before pericardium opening from 81 consecutive brain-dead multiple-organ donors. Donors for high-urgency-status recipients (n=2) were excluded from analysis. The remaining donors were retrospectively divided into 2 groups: donors for recipients who died within 30 days after HTx, after an early graft failure (group II, n=8), and all other donors (group I, n=71). No differences in donor and recipient demographic characteristics were found between groups. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for graft failure-related mortality were 0.71 for PCT and 0.64 for CRP. A PCT value >2 ng/mL as a predictor of graft failure-related mortality had a specificity of 95.8% and sensitivity of 50.0%. The odds ratio for graft failure-related mortality for recipients of hearts from donors with PCT levels >2 ng/mL was 22.7 (unadjusted, 95% Cl 3.7 to 137.8, P=0.0007) and 43.8 (after adjustment for prespecified potential confounders, 95% Cl 1.4 to 1361.0, P=0.031). Conclusions - A PCT level >2 ng/mL in a cardiac donor at the time of explantation appears to predict early graft failure-related mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i192-i196
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Sep 18 2001


  • Heart failure
  • Infection
  • Mortality
  • Procalcitonin
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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