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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1995;29(4): 431-441.
Pathological Analysis of Post-Transplantation Endomyocardial Biopsies.
Jaegul Chung, Soonae Oak, Gheeyoung Choe, Gyungyub Gong, Jooryung Huh, Eunsil Yu, Inchul Lee, Meong Gun Song, Kwang Hyun Sohn, Jae Joong Kim, Jong Goo Lee
1Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Chest Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
ABSTRACT
Heart transplantation was first performed in 1967. It is now regarded as a well-established treatment modality for end-stage cardiac diseases. Once the transplantation is performed, endomyocardial biopsy(EMB) is the examination of choice in monitoring the transplanted heart. We analyzed the pathological findings of follow-up EMB of 6 heart transplant patients. All patients have been suffered from severe heart failure. Four patients were adult male and two were adult females. All the hearts, except for one, displayed characteristic features of dilated cardiomyopathy. The remaining heart was diagnosed as having giant cell myocarditis. Post-transplantion EMBs were performed according to the protocol and standard cardiac biopsy grading of ISHT (1990). The standards were applied for grading of cellular rejection. In five patients, there were one or two episodes of biopsy proven acute rejection, grade II or IIIA without any clinical symptoms of rejection. Immediate "pulse therapy" was performed and follow-up biopsies were done. All episodes of rejection were cleared in subsequent biopsies. All patients are doing well without evidence of cardiac problem. The postoperative monitoring of acute rejection is critical since clinical signs of rejection are usually absent. At present, EMB is regarded as the most reliable method for diagnosis and grading of acute rejection and is an efficient guide to the monitoring of the cardiac recipients. Our experience of post-transplantation EMB corresponds with previously published reports.
Key Words: Heart transplantation; Acute rejection; Endomyocardial biopsy