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Autopsy finding in cardiac transplant patients a 10 year experience



Autopsy finding in cardiac transplant patients a 10 year experience



American Journal of Clinical Pathology 97(3): 369-375



Findings from 44 autopsy examinations of cardiac transplant patients during a 10-year period were reviewed. The autopsy rate was 85%. One half of the autopsy patients underwent original transplantation for the ischemic heart disease and 34% for cardiomyopathy. Survival after transplantation ranged from 0 (intraoperative) in 91 months. Rejection (including hyperacute rejection) was responsible for 41% of deaths, followed by infection (25%), and intraoperative deaths at first transplantation (9%). Most of the remaining complications were related to surgery or artificial heart support, accelerated allograft atherosclerosis, and lymphoma. Infections were not only responsible for a substantial percentage of deaths but were also a co-morbid finding in a number of patients who died primarily of other causes. Pulmonary infections represented the most common anatomic site. Twenty-five percent of the autopsy patients had gastrointestinal and/or pancreatic abnormalities, principally mucosal inflammation, erosions or hemorrhage, and pancreatitis. Review of premortem rejection history indicated that 64% of patients who died of or with rejection at autopsy had had an episode of rejection 3 weeks after transplantation and/or at least one episode of severe rejection.

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Accession: 007046225

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PMID: 1543161


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