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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2011, Article ID 351950, 7 pages
Review Article

Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Heart Transplantation: Case Presentation with a Review of Current International Guidelines

1Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mayo Clinic Arizona, 5777 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85054, USA
2Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, 5777 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85054, USA
3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, 5777 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85054, USA

Received 16 March 2011; Revised 29 August 2011; Accepted 14 September 2011

Academic Editor: Martin Cadeiras

Copyright © 2011 Octavio E. Pajaro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) (humoral rejection) of cardiac allografts remains difficult to diagnose and treat. Interest in AMR of cardiac allografts has increased over the last decade as it has become apparent that untreated humoral rejection threatens graft and patient survival. An international and multidisciplinary consensus group has formulated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of AMR and established that identification of circulating or donor-specific antibodies is not required and that asymptomatic AMR, that is, biopsy-proven AMR without cardiac dysfunction is a real entity with worsened prognosis. Strict criteria for the diagnosis of cardiac AMR have not been firmly established, although the diagnosis relies heavily on tissue pathological findings. Therapy remains largely empirical. We review an unfortunate experience with one of our patients and summarize recommended criteria for the diagnosis of AMR and potential treatment schemes with a focus on current limitations and the need for future research and innovation.