Heart-Reactive Antibody: An Index of Cardiac Rejection in Human Heart Transplantation
Indirect immunofluorescent techniques used for detection of heart-reactive antibody have been used in both human and experimental cardiac transplantation. Definite evidence is presented which demonstrates the presence of circulating heart-reactive antibody preceding clinical or laboratory evidence of cardiac rejection. In all patients who lived longer than one week and died of cardiac rejection, an increase in titers of heart-reactive antibody were present prior to obvious signs of rejection and death. Immunosuppressive therapy, both experimentally and clinically, has been demonstrated to alter the titer of circulating heart-reactive antibody. Much work is needed to clarify the significance of this heart-reactive antibody in the mechanism of rejection. However, the presence of heart-reactive antibody in patients after cardiac transplantation appears to be a valuable aid in monitoring cardiac rejection.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.