Non-cardiac Autopsy Findings in Patients with Heart (or Heart—Lung) Transplants
Patients who receive immunosuppressive therapy following organ transplantation have an iatrogenic, acquired (T-lymphocyte) immune deficiency. It is thus not surprising that they are prone to develop the same infective and neoplastic diseases that are commonly encountered in patients with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which results from destruction of their T-lymphocytes by the human immunodeficiency virus. Patients with T-lymphocyte deficiency are prone to infection with Pneumocystis carinii, Herpesvirus hominis, Torula, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as malignant diseases, e.g. Kaposi’s sarcoma. Fortunately, the immune deficit produced in the transplant recipient by the drug therapy is reversible and is proportional to the dosages used. Whilst cyclosporine-based therapy has a less depressive effect on the body’s ability to deal with infective agents compared to the older steroid-based regimen, infection remains a potentially lethal problem.
KeywordsHerpes Zoster Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Chronic Rejection Diffuse Alveolar Damage Cardiac Transplant Patient
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