Donor Electrocardiogram Associations With Cardiac Dysfunction, Heart Transplant Use, and Survival: The Donor Heart Study. JACC. Heart failure Tapaskar, N., Wayda, B., Malinoski, D., Luikart, H., Groat, T., Nguyen, J., Belcher, J., Nieto, J., Neidlinger, N., Salehi, A., Geraghty, P. J., Nicely, B., Jendrisak, M., Pearson, T., Wood, R. P., Zhang, S., Weng, Y., Zaroff, J., Khush, K. K. 2024


Potential organ donors often exhibit abnormalities on electrocardiograms (ECGs) after brain death, but the physiological and prognostic significance of such abnormalities is unknown.This study sought to characterize the prevalence of ECG abnormalities in a nationwide cohort of potential cardiac donors and their associations with cardiac dysfunction, use for heart transplantation (HT), and recipient outcomes.The Donor Heart Study enrolled 4,333 potential cardiac organ donors at 8 organ procurement organizations across the United States from 2015 to 2020. A blinded expert reviewer interpreted all ECGs, which were obtained once hemodynamic stability was achieved after brain death and were repeated 24 ± 6 hours later. ECG findings were summarized, and their associations with other cardiac diagnostic findings, use for HT, and graft survival were assessed using univariable and multivariable regression.Initial ECGs were interpretable for 4,136 potential donors. Overall, 64% of ECGs were deemed clinically abnormal, most commonly as a result of a nonspecific St-T-wave abnormality (39%), T-wave inversion (19%), and/or QTc interval >500 ms (17%). Conduction abnormalities, ectopy, pathologic Q waves, and ST-segment elevations were less common (each present in =5% of donors) and resolved on repeat ECGs in most cases. Only pathological Q waves were significant predictors of donor heart nonuse (adjusted OR: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.29-0.53), and none were associated with graft survival at 1 year post-HT.ECG abnormalities are common in potential heart donors but often resolve on serial testing. Pathologic Q waves are associated with a lower likelihood of use for HT, but they do not portend worse graft survival.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jchf.2023.12.007

View details for PubMedID 38244008