Il contributo delle Sezioni di Patologia al Progetto Italiano Trapianto Cardiaco nei primi cinque anni di attività (1985-1990).

Translated title of the contribution: The contribution of pathology sections to the Italian Heart Transplant Project in the first 5 years of its activities (1985-1990)

P. Gallo, L. Agozzino, E. Arbustini, G. Baroldi, G. Bartoloni, E. Bonacina, C. Bosman, G. Catani, P. Cocco, C. Di Giola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All the transplantation units within the Italian Heart Transplantation Project are supported by a section of pathology, devoted to the study of the recipient's heart, to patient monitoring by means of a schedule of endomyocardial biopsies, and, if that was the case, to examine the donor's heart and to analyse the causes of death. When successes and failures of the first five years of the Project's activity are weighed up, good results are observed: of the 847 operations performed (orthotopic, heterotopic and heart-lung transplants, and re-transplants) an actuarial survival rate of 77% at 5 years has been achieved. The sections of pathology believe to have contributed significantly to these results, examining as many as 10,446 endomyocardial biopsies. The indications for transplantation were: dilated cardiomyopathy (48.5%); ischemic (35.3%); valvular (5.9%) and congenital (2.4%) heart disease; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (2.2%); endocardial fibroelastosis (1.7%); restrictive cardiomyopathy (1.4%); anthracycline cardiotoxicity (0.8%); myocarditis (0.8%); cardiac tumours (0.5%) and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (0.2%). Distribution of recipients by sex and age varied according to the indications for transplantation: males were more common among the patients transplanted for ischemic (97%) and valvular (84%) heart disease, as well as for dilated (82%) and hypertrophic (78%) cardiomyopathy, whereas the opposite was true for endocardial fibroelastosis (males constituting 21%) and cardiac tumours (25%). Mean age at transplantation ranged from 49 years (ischemic heart disease) to 6 years (endocardial fibroelastosis). In the follow-up period, a 17.5% death rate was recorded; the main causes of death were the early failure of the transplanted heart (27 pts), postoperative complications (16), hyperacute rejection (4), acute rejection (18), infections (the singular most frequent cause of death, 35 pts), the proliferative endoarteritis of coronary branches (the so-called chronic rejection, that caused 21 deaths and required 14 re-transplants) and the development of neoplasms (11). The actuarial survival curve drops to 89% after the first postoperative month, abates to 82% at the end of the first year, and progressively decreases to 77% at the end of the fifth follow-up year. Rejection monitoring required an average number of 12.5 endomyocardial biopsies per recipient, and allowed 1.7 rejection episodes per patient to be diagnosed. The fewer were the rejection episodes occurring in a unit, the higher was the percentage of deaths due to infections.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Translated title of the contributionThe contribution of pathology sections to the Italian Heart Transplant Project in the first 5 years of its activities (1985-1990)
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)843-853
Number of pages11
JournalGiornale Italiano di Cardiologia
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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