Value of Urinary Polyamines as Noninvasive Markers of Cardiac Allograft Rejection in the Dog

Michel Carrier, Diane H. Russell, Thomas P. Davis, Robert W. Emery, Jack G. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A noninvasive marker of cardiac allograft rejection would be useful clinically. Lymphocyte proliferation and organ rejection may cause changes in urinary polyamine excretion. To test this hypothesis, cervical heterotopic heart transplantations were performed in a group of 6 nonimmunosuppressed dogs and in a group of 9 dogs treated with cyclosporine (N = 3) or cyclosporine and steroids (N = 6). A group (N = 3) having a sham operation was also studied. Serial biopsies of the transplanted hearts were performed. Urinary polyamine levels were measured daily by high-pressure liquid chromatography of urine specimens. Between 2 and 4 days after transplantation, the transplanted hearts of all animals without immunosuppression demonstrated histological rejection. An early increase in putrescine levels and in total urinary polyamine levels was observed in this group. In the treated groups, histological rejection appeared from the second to the eighth day after transplantation. Each episode of rejection occurred from 1 day to 4 days after a significant increase in urinary polyamine levels compared with the preoperative baseline level (p < 0.01). In contrast, polyamine excretion in 3 dogs after sham operations remained unchanged. Thus, urinary excretion of polyamines increases before the appearance of histological rejection; this suggests that changes in urinary polyamine levels may be a useful marker of cardiac allograft rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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