Abstract The analysis of proliferative responses using 5,6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) in flow cytometry is widely used to assess lymphocyte function. The aim of this study was to evaluate nonspecific and specific lymphoproliferative responses using CFSE in heart recipients before and after transplantation and their association with the development of infection. We used four-color flow cytometry to measure the response of peripheral CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells to phytohemagglutinin mitogen (PHA), tetanus toxoid, hepatitis B, and influenza vaccines using a CFSE proliferation assay in 12 heart recipients and 8 healthy control subjects. Recipients were prospectively evaluated. Immunological studies were performed before and at 3 months after transplantation. A 12-month clinical follow-up examination sought to detect the prevalence of severe infectious complications. Heart recipients (infected [n = 7] and uninfected [n = 5]) disclosed significantly lower percentages of proliferative responses than healthy controls against PHA at both study points. Baseline CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+, antitetanus proliferative responses were significantly lower in infected heart recipients than controls. Patients who developed infections displayed significantly lower percentages of CD3+CFSE and CD8+CFSE cells to PHA mitogen at 3 months after transplantation versus those without infections. In conclusion, nonspecific T-cell reactivity to PHA was lower in heart recipients with posttransplantation infections.