An account of human heart transplantation as seen by the histopathologists involved at the two UK transplant centres is presented. Between January 1979 and July 1984 179 patients received 186 hearts and 124 are still alive up to four years after operation. Cyclosporin A based immunosuppression has been used in the last 120 patients. Four patients developed neoplastic lesions. The commonest reason for transplantation was ischaemic heart disease (63%), followed by congestive cardiomyopathy (35%). The seven retransplants were for acute or chronic rejection. The monitoring of rejection by endomyocardial biopsies is described, and the causes of death and necropsy findings are presented.
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