Detection of rejection of canine orthotopic cardiac allografts with indium-111 lymphocytes and gamma scintigraphy
Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of detecting canine heterotopic cardiac allograft rejection scintigraphically after administration of 111In lymphocytes. To determine whether the approach is capable of detecting rejection in orthotopic cardiac transplants in which labeled lymphocytes circulating in the blood pool may reduce sensitivity, the present study was performed in which canine orthotopic cardiac transplants were evaluated in vivo. Immunosuppression was maintained with
... s maintained with cyclosporine A (10-20 mg/kg/day) and prednisone (1 mg/kg/day) for 2 wk after transplantation. Subsequently, therapy was tapered. Five successful allografts were evaluated scintigraphically every 3 days after administration of 100-350 microCi 111In autologous lymphocytes. Correction for labeled lymphocytes circulating in the blood pool, but not actively sequestered in the allografts was accomplished by administering 3-6 mCi 99mTc autologous erythrocytes and employing a previously validated blood-pool activity correction technique. Cardiac infiltration of labeled lymphocytes was quantified as percent indium excess (%IE), scintigraphically detectable 111In in the transplant compared with that in blood, and results were compared with those of concomitantly performed endomyocardial biopsy. Scintigraphic %IE for hearts not undergoing rejection manifest histologically was 0.7 +/- 0.4. Percent IE for rejecting hearts was 6.8 +/- 4.0 (p less than 0.05). Scintigraphy detected each episode of rejection detected by biopsy. Scintigraphic criteria for rejection (%IE greater than 2 s.d. above normal) were not manifest in any study in which biopsies did not show rejection. Since scintigraphic results with 111In-labeled lymphocytes were concordant with biopsy results in orthotopic cardiac transplants, noninvasive detection of graft rejection in patients should be attainable with the approach developed.