Cardiac allograft rejection

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Heart Transplant Program, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.
The surgeon: journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland (Impact Factor: 2.21). 06/2011; 9(3):160-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.surge.2010.11.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Success in cardiac transplantation has been achieved by the development of improved immunosuppressive therapies, which have led to a concomitant decrease in cardiac allograft rejection and infection. Rejection however continues to be the cause of significant morbidity and mortality particularly in the first year after cardiac transplantation. The endomyocardial biopsy remains an essential tool for its diagnosis. Acute cellular rejection has been a well recognized phenomenon although more recently, the diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection has gained acceptance, a condition associated with greater graft dysfunction, subsequent development of cardiac allograft vasculopathy and mortality. In this article we review the current status of the diagnosis of cardiac allograft rejection as determined by the traditional endomyocardial biopsy, the more recent advances in the non-invasive evaluation of rejection, detection of circulating antibodies and the treatment of rejection.

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