Anything is possible
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My daughter Lauren, had her heart and kidney transplant on May 17, 2018. The first 4 weeks after transplant, she needed to have biopsies every week. At this time Lauren needs to have her biopsies once a month.
During the biopsies, they take a tiny piece of the heart muscle and look for signs of inflammation or rejection. This is the only way doctors can tell early on if your body is rejecting your donor heart.
Schedule for biopsies after transplant:
Below is a grading of biopsy rejections:
**Grading rejectionThe pathologist, the medical Doctor who reviews the tissue slide for the diagnosis of rejection rates the presence and severity of rejection based in the International Society and Heart Transplant scale.
Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR)
Rejection refers to the organ recipient's immune system recognizing a transplanted organ as foreign and mounting a response to it via cellular and/or humoral (antibody-mediated) mechanisms. Routine endomyocardial biopsy remains the criterion standard for monitoring for such rejection. This process involves sampling of the right ventricle using a bioptome, and a pathologist evaluating the tissue. The concept of rejection is not unique to cardiac allograft transplantation and, to a varying extent, occurs in all forms of solid organ transplantation
Cardiac transplant rejection manifests in 1 or more of the following 3 ways: acute cell-mediated rejection, antibody-mediated rejection (AMR), and allograft vasculopathy.
Transplantation is the act of transferring cells, tissues, or organs from one site to another. The malfunction of an organ system can be corrected with transplantation of an organ (eg, kidney, liver, heart, lung, or pancreas) from a donor. However, the immune system remains the most formidable barrier to transplantation as a routine medical treatment. The immune system has developed elaborate and effective mechanisms to combat foreign agents. These mechanisms are also involved in the rejection of transplanted organs, which are recognized as foreign by the recipient's immune system.
Understanding these mechanisms is important, as it aids in understanding the clinical features of rejection and, hence, in making an early diagnosis and delivering appropriate treatment. Knowledge of these mechanisms is also critical in developing strategies to minimize rejection and in developing new drugs and treatments that blunt the effects of the immune system on transplanted organs, thereby ensuring longer survival of these organs.
I have to say this, when we found out Lauren's biopsy came back with rejection, called AMR, we were scared. And when we were told Lauren might have to be hospitalized, PTSD set in. I kept thinking, what do we pack, how long will we be there. I know what the Dr's say, but we know how things really happen. 3 - 5 days could lead to 10- plus days. Also I have been trying my best to take care of things around the house, if I'm not going to be here. As you all know, when Lauren goes into the hospital I go with her. It's a scary and lonely place to be. We travel as a team.
We are home, and the plan is to stay here for now. Lauren is having her next biopsy in three weeks. Pray for no rejection.
Now onto a new subject, me. I have been experiencing some stomach issues for the past month. I have had complete blood work-up, urine and stool tests. Yesterday I had a CT Scan done, just waiting for results. At this time, I have no idea what is going on with me. Hopefully some answers soon. Time to take care of myself.
I have added a new page to my website, Care & Support. This page is dedicated in helping families with their medical fundraising needs, please check it out. When being diagnosed with a life threatening illness is one thing, then to add the financial burden, can really put a family over the top. Every little donation helps.
Strength in a Heartbeat, Diary of a Heart Transplant
Read our personal journey on the heart transplant list