Graduation Date

Spring 5-6-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Dr. Bunny Pozehl

Second Advisor

Dr. Lani Zimmerman

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott Lundgren


This paper discusses a study investigating the relationship between the cell-mediated immunity (CMI) level before cardiac transplant and the incidence of infection and mortality after the transplant. CMI is an important measure of a person's immune system. The study included 126 patients who underwent cardiac transplants between September 2011 and January 2020. Out of these, 21 patients had a low CMI level (<225), and 105 had a high CMI level (≥ 225) before transplant. The mean CMI level in the low CMI group was 175.3, while in the high CMI group, it was 479.9. The two groups were similar except for the lower white cell count and cardiac output in the CMI< 225 groups and the higher Caucasian demographic in the CMI≥ 225 groups. The study concludes that patients with lower CMI levels before cardiac transplant have a higher risk of infection (p=0.052) and mortality (p=0.005) one year after the transplant. The risk of dying for patients with CMI <225 is 12.9 times the risk of dying for patients with CMI ≥ 225 after adjusting for the other covariates in the model. However, this study has some limitations including its retrospective nature, small sample size, and single-center design. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings and investigate the optimal immunosuppressive regimens based on baseline CMI levels.


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