Serial Assessment of Sympathetic Reinnervation After Orthotopic Heart Transplantation: A Longitudinal Study Using PET and C-11 Hydroxyephedrine

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Abstract

Background

Little is known about the progressiveness of sympathetic reinnervation late after cardiac transplantation (HTX). The aim of the present study was to describe individual growth of sympathetic terminals after HTX by a longitudinal quantitative assessment.

Conclusions

The present data confirm the low likelihood of sympathetic reinnervation within 18 months after HTX. Once the reinnervation process is initiated, a continuous growth is observed even late after HTX, suggesting a progressive nature of reinnervation. Reinnervation, however, remained regionally heterogeneous, and a complete restoration was not found until 15 years after HTX. (Circulation. 1999;99:1866-1871.)

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