Publications by authors named "Maria E Rodrigo"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Higher levels of allograft injury in black patients early after heart transplantation.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2021 Dec 23. Epub 2021 Dec 23.

Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation (GRAfT), Bethesda, Maryland; Laborarory of Applied Precision Omics (APO), Division of Intramural Research, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland; Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California. Electronic address:

Black patients suffer higher rates of antibody-mediated rejection and have worse long-term graft survival after heart transplantation. Donor-derived cell free DNA (ddcfDNA) is released into the blood following allograft injury. This study analyzed %ddcfDNA in 63 heart transplant recipients categorized by Black and non-Black race, during the first 200 days after transplant. Immediately after transplant, %ddcfDNA was higher for Black patients (mean [SE]: 8.3% [1.3%] vs 3.2% [1.2%], p = 0.001). In the first week post-transplant, the rate of decay in %ddcfDNA was similar (0.7% [0.68] vs 0.7% [0.11], p = 0.78), and values declined in both groups to a comparable plateau at 7 days post-transplant (0.46% [0.03] vs 0.45% [0.04], p = 0.78). The proportion of Black patients experiencing AMR was higher than non-Black patients (21% vs 9% [hazard ratio of 2.61 [95% confidence interval: 0.651-10.43], p = 0.18). Black patients were more likely to receive a race mismatched organ than non-Black patients (69% vs 35%, p = 0.01), which may explain the higher levels of early allograft injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2021.12.006DOI Listing
December 2021

From Hip to Heart: A Comprehensive Evaluation of an Infiltrative Cardiomyopathy.

CJC Open 2021 Nov 26;3(11):1392-1395. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Advanced Heart Failure, MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute, Washington, DC, USA.

Infiltrative cardiomyopathies are an increasingly recognized cause of heart failure warranting systematic evaluation. Given overlap of clinical and imaging findings among etiologies of infiltrative cardiomyopathies, comprehensive evaluation, including a history and physical examination, advanced cardiac imaging, and sometimes endomyocardial biopsy, is required for diagnosis. We report a case of infiltrative cardiomyopathy in which endomyocardial biopsy confirmed diagnosis of cobalt-induced cardiomyopathy. The novel teaching points highlighted by this case report include identification of heavy-metal toxicity as a cause of infiltrative cardiomyopathy, and the outline of a diagnostic approach and management for cobalt-induced cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjco.2021.06.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8640576PMC
November 2021

Outcomes in patients with smaller body surface area after HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device implantation.

Artif Organs 2021 Sep 13. Epub 2021 Sep 13.

Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.

Background: Due to anatomic and physiologic concerns, prior generations of the left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) have frequently been denied to patients with small body size. However, outcomes in patients with small body surface area (BSA) following HeartMate 3 (HM3) LVAD implantation remain relatively unknown.

Methods: A cohort of 220 patients implanted at a single center was divided into two groups: BSA ≤1.8 m (small BSA, n = 37) and BSA >1.8 m (large BSA, n = 183). We investigated baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes including survival and incidence of adverse events.

Results: Small BSA patients were older (60 vs. 57 years), more likely female (60% vs. 20%), had a lower body mass index (24 vs. 32 kg/m ), lower incidence of diabetes (32% vs. 51%), history of stroke (5% vs. 19%), and left ventricular thrombus (0% vs. 11%). They had smaller left ventricular end diastolic diameter (64.8 vs. 69.3 mm). Pump speed and pump flows at discharge were lower in the small BSA group. Survival at 1 year and 2 years was 86% versus 87% and 86% versus 79% for small versus large BSA groups (p = 0.408), respectively. The rates of adverse events were similar between groups and there were no cases of confirmed pump thrombosis. The incidence of readmissions for low flow alarms was higher in the small BSA group (0.55 vs. 0.24 EPPY).

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate comparable outcomes in patients with small body size and suggest that this parameter should not be an exclusion criterion on patients who are otherwise candidates for HM3 LVAD implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aor.14065DOI Listing
September 2021

Response by Shah et al to Letter Regarding Article, "Cell-Free DNA to Detect Heart Allograft Acute Rejection".

Circulation 2021 09 7;144(10):e198-e199. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation (GRAfT), Bethesda, MD (P.S., S.A-E., I.T., S.H., E.F., K.S., M.E.R., S.S.N., H.K., U.F., A.B., A.M., K.B., Y.Y., M.K.J., C.Marboe, G.J.B., H.A.V.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.055697DOI Listing
September 2021

Chronic Intravenous Inotropic Support as Palliative Therapy and Bridge Therapy for Patients With Advanced Heart Failure: A Single-Center Experience.

J Card Fail 2021 09 19;27(9):974-980. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Department of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC; Section of Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.

Background: Many patients with American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Stage D (advanced) heart failure are discharged home on chronic intravenous inotropic support (CIIS) as bridge to surgical therapy or as palliative therapy. This study analyzed the clinical trajectory of patients with advanced heart failure who were on home CIIS.

Methods: We conducted a single-institution, retrospective cohort study of patients on CIIS between 2010 and 2016 (n = 373), stratified by indication for initiation of inotropic support. Study outcomes were time from initiation of CIIS to cessation of therapy, time to death for patients who did not receive surgical therapy and rates of involvement with palliative care.

Results: Overall, patients received CIIS therapy for an average of 5.9 months (standard deviation [SD] 7.3). Patients on CIIS as palliative therapy died in an average of 6.2 months (SD 6.6) from the time of initiation of CIIS, and those on CIIS as bridge therapy who did not ultimately receive surgical therapy died after an average of 8.6 months (SD 9.3). Patients who received CIIS as bridge therapy were significantly less likely to receive palliative-care consultation than those on inotropes as palliative therapy, whether or not they underwent surgery.

Conclusions: In this large cohort of patients with advanced HF, patients who on CIIS as palliative therapy survived for 6.2 months, on average, with wide variation among patients. Patients who were on CIIS as bridge therapy but did not ultimately receive surgical therapy received less palliative care despite the high mortality rate in this subgroup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.06.006DOI Listing
September 2021

Cell-Free DNA to Detect Heart Allograft Acute Rejection.

Circulation 2021 03 13;143(12):1184-1197. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation, Bethesda, MD (S.A.-E., P.S., I.T., S.H., E.F., K.S., M.E.R., S.S.N., H.K., U.F., A.B., A.M., K.B., Y.Y., M.K.J., C.M., G.J.B., H.A.V.).

Background: After heart transplantation, endomyocardial biopsy (EMBx) is used to monitor for acute rejection (AR). Unfortunately, EMBx is invasive, and its conventional histological interpretation has limitations. This is a validation study to assess the performance of a sensitive blood biomarker-percent donor-derived cell-free DNA (%ddcfDNA)-for detection of AR in cardiac transplant recipients.

Methods: This multicenter, prospective cohort study recruited heart transplant subjects and collected plasma samples contemporaneously with EMBx for %ddcfDNA measurement by shotgun sequencing. Histopathology data were collected to define AR, its 2 phenotypes (acute cellular rejection [ACR] and antibody-mediated rejection [AMR]), and controls without rejection. The primary analysis was to compare %ddcfDNA levels (median and interquartile range [IQR]) for AR, AMR, and ACR with controls and to determine %ddcfDNA test characteristics using receiver-operator characteristics analysis.

Results: The study included 171 subjects with median posttransplant follow-up of 17.7 months (IQR, 12.1-23.6), with 1392 EMBx, and 1834 %ddcfDNA measures available for analysis. Median %ddcfDNA levels decayed after surgery to 0.13% (IQR, 0.03%-0.21%) by 28 days. Also, %ddcfDNA increased again with AR compared with control values (0.38% [IQR, 0.31-0.83%], versus 0.03% [IQR, 0.01-0.14%]; <0.001). The rise was detected 0.5 and 3.2 months before histopathologic diagnosis of ACR and AMR. The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve for AR was 0.92. A 0.25%ddcfDNA threshold had a negative predictive value for AR of 99% and would have safely eliminated 81% of EMBx. In addition, %ddcfDNA showed distinctive characteristics comparing AMR with ACR, including 5-fold higher levels (AMR ≥2, 1.68% [IQR, 0.49-2.79%] versus ACR grade ≥2R, 0.34% [IQR, 0.28-0.72%]), higher area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (0.95 versus 0.85), higher guanosine-cytosine content, and higher percentage of short ddcfDNA fragments.

Conclusions: We found that %ddcfDNA detected AR with a high area under the receiver operator characteristic curve and negative predictive value. Monitoring with ddcfDNA demonstrated excellent performance characteristics for both ACR and AMR and led to earlier detection than the EMBx-based monitoring. This study supports the use of %ddcfDNA to monitor for AR in patients with heart transplant and paves the way for a clinical utility study. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT02423070.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.049098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8221834PMC
March 2021

Autoimmune Myocarditis Caused by Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Treated With Antithymocyte Globulin.

J Immunother 2018 09;41(7):332-335

MedStar Georgetown University/Washington Hospital Center.

The immune checkpoint inhibitors have brought about a paradigm shift in the treatment of many cancers and are being used as the first line therapy in increasing number of aggressive malignancies, including metastatic melanoma. Their adverse effects, mostly mediated by an uncontrolled overactivation of the immune system, may compromise the therapeutic benefit. Combination immune checkpoint therapies in particular, have higher therapeutic efficacy, but have also been associated with a higher incidence of severe immune-related adverse effects including autoimmune lymphocytic myocarditis. Recent clinical reports of this rare and life threatening condition indicated rapid progression of severe hemodynamic and electrical instability, with or without acute decompensated heart failure, reduced ejection fraction and shock, pointing to the need for early recognition, diagnosis and prompt management. Current guidelines for management of other immune-related adverse effects recommend high-dose glucocorticoids, with consideration of immunomodulators, such as infliximab in patients with severe colitis. However, knowledge about the treatment approaches in immune-related myocarditis remains extremely scarce. Here we report a case of severe, steroid refractory, lymphocytic myocarditis that occurred after the first cycle of combination immunotherapy with the programmed cell death protein-1 inhibitor, nivolumab, and the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 blocker, ipilimumab, for metastatic melanoma. We discuss treatment approaches including the role for transvenous pacemaker, advanced heart failure support, and interdisciplinary decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CJI.0000000000000239DOI Listing
September 2018

Reliability of prehospital real-time cellular video phone in assessing the simplified National Institutes Of Health Stroke Scale in patients with acute stroke: a novel telemedicine technology.

Stroke 2011 Jun 21;42(6):1522-7. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street, NW, Suite 4B-1, Washington, DC 20010, USA.

Background And Purpose: The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is the gold standard to assess patients with acute stroke. We aimed to examine the feasibility and reliability of prehospital real-time cellular video phone (VP) in performing the NIHSS.

Methods: Forty physicians prospectively performed a simplified NIHSS (sNIHSS) on a standardized patient remotely using VP with the assistance of a bedside emergency medical technician and later performed a bedside examination. We tested the hypothesis that there is high reliability between these 2 methods. Physicians were timed and sNIHSS scores were recorded. Finally, physicians were asked to rate the VP technology.

Results: A total of 480 pair comparisons of the sNIHSS scores between the VP and bedside examination were generated. After adjusting for the physician's specialty, level of training, and certification status, there was a strong positive linear correlation (r=0.97, P < 0.01) between the 2 methods with high average physician reliability (0.99; 95% CI, 0.992 to 0.995). The mean sNIHSS scores using VP and bedside examination were not different (6.82 ± 1.06 versus 6.63 ± 0.98; P=0.08). The mean time to perform the sNIHSS using VP was approximately 38 seconds longer than the bedside examination (3.38 ± 0.77 versus 2.93 ± 0.83 minutes; P=0.006).

Conclusions: The VP is a feasible, reliable, and timely tool with the potential for remotely assessing the sNIHSS for patients presenting with acute stroke and may expedite the initial evaluation and treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.600296DOI Listing
June 2011

Cellular video-phone assisted transmission and interpretation of prehospital 12-lead electrocardiogram in acute st-segment elevation myocardial infarction.

J Interv Cardiol 2011 Apr;24(2):112-8

Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA.

Background: Prehospital 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) reduces the time to reperfusion in acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). However, the reliability of using cellular video-phone (VP) assisted interpretation of ECG is unknown.

Methods: We studied the interphysician reliability in interpreting the ECG assisted with VP compared to print ECG interpretation. Twenty-seven physicians prospectively interpreted the ECG transmitted from the field in real-time using VP and later using the same printed ECG. The time to completion, accuracy of interpretation, and physician rating of the VP technology were recorded.

Results: Similar high interphysician reliability was observed with both VP assisted and printed ECG interpretation including presence of ST-segment elevation (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]= 0.98 [95% CI 0.96-1] vs. 0.99 [95% CI 0.99-1]) and pathologic Q wave (ICC = 0.99 [95% CI 0.98-1] vs. 1 [95% CI 1]), respectively. The mean time to transmit and interpret the ECG with VP versus printed ECG was 3.9 ± 1.9 versus 2.1 ± 0.9 minutes, respectively, P < 0.01. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best, the average rating of VP ease of use was 4.4 ± 0.5 and utility to recommend treatment was rated a 5.

Conclusion: Cellular VP-assisted transmission and interpretation in real-time of prehospital ECG has high interphysician reliability, similar to the printed ECG interpretation. Future studies testing whether VP decreases the ischemic time and expedites the reperfusion of STEMI patients are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8183.2010.00609.xDOI Listing
April 2011
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