Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Baylor Team Discovers Reason For Heart Transplant Failure

Date:
May 18, 2001
Source:
Baylor College Of Medicine
Summary:
A common virus that infects the heart is a major reason for heart transplant failure in children, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered.

HOUSTON (May 17, 2001) -- A common virus that infects the heart is a major reason for heart transplant failure in children, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered.

Related Articles


"This finding should lead to a change in diagnostic testing and treatment," said Dr. Jeffrey A. Towbin, a professor of pediatric cardiology at Baylor. "It could also improve long-term survival."

The discovery, reported in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, shows why many children suffer heart transplant failure months and even years after surgery, including cardiac rejection and the development of transplant coronary artery disease. The study indicates that frequent biopsies are the best method to identify the virus.

The research team, led by Towbin and Dr. Neil E. Bowles, an assistant professor of pediatric cardiology at Baylor, has been studying for the past decade the reasons for heart transplant failure in children. "It's been the bane of all transplant doctors -- the development of coronary artery disease in transplant patients leads to either sudden death or the need for retransplantation," said Towbin, also associate chief of pediatric cardiology at Texas Children's Hospital and director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Service and Cardiac Research. "Nobody has understood why this happens, but now we know there's a viral connection."

The team studied 553 biopsies from 149 transplant recipients, ages newborn to 18 years old, over a five-year period. The biopsies were evaluated for common viral infections by using a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test. All of the biopsies were sent from Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in California.

Results showed that 85 percent of the patients who at some point after transplant tested PCR-positive suffered an adverse event within three months of that result.

"The infection isn't there at transplant, it wasn't there along the way and suddenly it's there," Towbin said. "It's likely to be due to an upper respiratory illness."

In the majority of cases, the infection was late onset, appearing more than two years after transplant, Bowles said. The infections or evidence of rejection did not show up on non-invasive tests.

The findings indicate that the current therapy for transplant rejection should be changed, Towbin said. Now, when the heart shows signs of rejection, indicated by inflammation within the heart, the therapy is anti-inflammatory medications, such as steroids and increased immunosuppresent drugs. After the therapy reduces the inflammation, the patient is sent home with a clean bill of health, he said.

"But, nothing has been done about the virus. It's still sitting there as a low-level illness that over time creates the problem," Towbin said.

Towbin and Bowles said the discovery suggests that all heart transplant patients should be biopsied routinely with PCR evaluation performed each time. They believe these results could lead to new therapies and preventative measures, such as an anti-viral vaccine for use prior to transplant.

Collaborators included Dr. Girish S. Shirali, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Dr. Jiyuan Ni, Baylor College of Medicine; Dr. Richard E. Chinnock and Joyce K. Johnston, Loma Linda University Children's Hospital; and Dr. Geoffrey L. Rosenthal, University of Washington.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor College Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor College Of Medicine. "Baylor Team Discovers Reason For Heart Transplant Failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518083338.htm>.
Baylor College Of Medicine. (2001, May 18). Baylor Team Discovers Reason For Heart Transplant Failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518083338.htm
Baylor College Of Medicine. "Baylor Team Discovers Reason For Heart Transplant Failure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518083338.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins