Evidence for regional catecholamine uptake and storage sites in the transplanted human heart by positron emission tomography

Markus Schwaiger, Gary D. Hutchins, Victor Kalff, Karen Rosenspire, Michael S. Haka, Shirley Mallette, G. Michael Deeb, Gerald D. Abrams, Donald Wieland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

186 Scopus citations

Abstract

Positron emission tomography in combination with the newly introduced catecholamine analogue [11C]hydroxyephedrine ([11C]HED) enables the noninvasive delineation of sympathetic nerve terminals of the heart. To address the ongoing controversy over possible reinnervation of the human transplant, 5 healthy control subjects and 11 patients were studied after cardiac transplant by this imaging approach. Regional [11C]HED retention was compared to regional blood flow as assessed by rubidium-82. Transplant patients were divided into two groups. Group I had recent (< 1 yr, 4.4±2.3 mo) surgery, while group II patients underwent cardiac transplantation more than 2 yr before imaging (3.5±1.3 yr). [11C]HED retention paralleled blood flow in normals, but was homogeneously reduced in group I. In contrast, group II patients revealed heterogeneous [11C]HED retention, with increased uptake in the proximal anterior and septal wall. Quantitative evaluation of [11C]HED retention revealed a 70% reduction in group I and 59% reduction in group II patients (P < 0.001). In group II patients, [11C]HED retention reached 60% of normal in the proximal anterior wall. These data suggest the presence of neuronal tissue in the transplanted human heart, which may reflect regional sympathetic reinnervation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1681-1690
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume87
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1991

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Keywords

  • Carbon-11 hydroxyephedrine
  • Cardiac transplantation
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Reinnervation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Schwaiger, M., Hutchins, G. D., Kalff, V., Rosenspire, K., Haka, M. S., Mallette, S., Deeb, G. M., Abrams, G. D., & Wieland, D. (1991). Evidence for regional catecholamine uptake and storage sites in the transplanted human heart by positron emission tomography. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 87(5), 1681-1690. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI115185