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Health Agencies Update
February 23, 2021

Detecting Heart Transplant Rejection Earlier, More Easily

JAMA. 2021;325(8):712. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.1228

A blood test performed better than a tissue biopsy—the standard diagnostic tool—in detecting acute heart transplant rejection, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) researchers found in a recent study.

The blood test detected acute rejection, which tends to occur 3 to 6 months after heart transplant surgery, as early as 28 days after transplant surgery and weeks earlier than an endomyocardial biopsy, even before any outward signs are evident.