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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1999;33(3): 169-178.
A Clinicopathological Study of Posttransplant Liver Biopsy.
Na Rae Kim, Dae Su Kim, Young Lyun Oh, Mi Kyung Kim, Young Hyeh Ko
Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 135-710, Korea.
Liver biopsies are used routinely in the assessment of graft dysfunction following liver transplantation and generally considered to be the most reliable method for the diagnosis of posttransplant complications with overlapping clinical and laboratory findings. To investigate posttransplant complications causing graft dysfunction and usefulness of liver biopsy, we analysed clinicopathologic features of 65 posttransplant liver biopsies, 2 autopsies and an explanted liver, taken from 20 patients. The frequencies of posttransplant complications were acute cellular rejection in 9 patients (45%), postoperative infection in 11 patients (55%), of which cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and systemic invasive aspergillosis with candidiasis occured in 10 patients (50%) and 1 patient (5%), respectively. Remainders were hepatic arterial thrombosis in two (10%), primary graft dysfunction due to fatty donor liver in one (5%), and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in two (10%). There were no chronic rejection or recurrent disease. Postoperative mortality was 25%. Histologic grade by Banff schema was well correlated with clinical parameters associated with unfavorable short term prognosis. CMV infection was associated with acute cellular rejection in 6 out of 10 patients (60%). Immunohistochemical staining for CMV was more sensitive method than CMV in situ hybridization or histologic detection of viral inclusion on tissue section. It was unique that one case of PTLD developed under the circumstances of the lowest dosage of immunosuppression and took grave outcome. Based on these results, we concluded that clinicopathologic correlation with integration of all the clinical and laboratory findings is necessary in the interpretation of accurate and early diagnosis of posttransplant liver biopsies. The interrelationship between chronic rejection and CMV infection as well as pathogenetic factors of PTLD remains to be clarified through further ongoing observation.
Key Words: Liver; Posttransplant complication; Rejection; CMV infection; Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder