The whole weekend of testing and waiting gave us results today, just not the ones we wanted. Her echo showed worsened function and they decided she is almost definitely in antibody mediated rejection. What we have always watched for was cellular rejection, where the heart tissue itself was in rejection, and is how we treated it this weekend but in fact was not. This antibody mediated rejection is caused by antibodies in her blood that are damaging her heart.
They are going to do a biopsy/cath here at 430 PST to check her coronary arteries and take a few tissue samples. They will also place a dialysis style port in her neck to start plasmapharesis tomorrow, pending biopsy results. Plasmapheresis is like a dialysis, where they pull her blood out, remove the plasma containing the bad antibodies and insert the cleaned blood with a donor plasma. This will be up to 10days of treatment, but I am waiting to hear the protocol from Loma Linda for Gabriella. It will also wipe out her immune system like the days after transplant so we must go back to original precautions w a mask & germs.
They also will place her on a medication to relax her aorta and redirect the increased regurgitated in her mitral valve that this rejection has caused. Stopping this rejection could or could not reverse damage, but for now we will just treat what it has done.
Loma Linda is guiding our wonderful cardiologists here in Arizona and overall I feel comfortable. The teamwork gives us comfort and we will not loose faith. This should be what we need to get her out of rejection, and we will pray that into action. Here forward we will increase her daily immunosupression meds to prevent this again. But for now we are praying her cath lab procedures go smoothly, the treatments work and her heart is a sparkly as ever when this is said and done.
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