Heart transplantation started in Japan in 1999. Since then, 50 transplants have been performed at our center. We performed histopathological analyses of the 50 explanted hearts and the post-transplant biopsy specimens. The median age of recipients was 39 years. The primary diseases before transplant were idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in 33 patients (66%), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in seven (14%), restrictive cardiomyopathy in one, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in one, and secondary cardiomyopathy in eight (16%). Before transplantation, 47 patients (94%) had left ventricular assist devices. No severe cardiovascular failure due to allograft rejection occurred. The post-transplant survival rate was 97.6% at 1 year and 93.1% at 10 years. One recipient was lost to sepsis from myelodysplastic syndrome in the fourth year, one died of multiple organ failure and peritonitis 8 months after transplant. Another patient died of recurrent post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD). Mild cardiac dysfunction occurred in seven recipients in the early postoperative period. Moderate acute cellular rejection occurred in six patients (12%), and antibody-mediated rejection occurred in three (6%). The number of heart transplants performed in Japan is very small. However, the outstanding 10-year survival rate is due to donor evaluation and post-transplant care resulting in low grade rejection. Pathological evaluation has also greatly contributed to the results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine