Objectives: This report summarizes a collaborative effort between the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation and the International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation to establish what is known about chronic rejection in recipients of vascularized composite allografts, with an emphasis on upper extremity and face transplants. As a picture of chronic rejection in hand and face vascularized composite allografts emerges, the results will be applied to other types of vascularized composite allografts, such as uterine transplantation. Methods: The overall goal is to develop a definition of chronic rejection in vascularized composite allografts so that we can establish longitudinal correlates of factors such as acute rejection, immunosuppressive therapy, de novo donor-specific antibody and trauma/infection and other external factors on the development of chronic rejection. As Dr Kanitakis eloquently stated at the 2017 International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation meeting in Salzburg, “Before we can correlate causative factors of chronic rejection, we have to define what chronic rejection in VCA is.” Results: The first meeting report was presented at the sixth Biennial meeting of the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation in November 2018. Based on collaborative efforts and descriptions of clinical cases of chronic rejection in vascularized composite allograft recipients, a working definition of chronic rejection in vascularized composite allografts with respect to overt functional decline, subclinical functional decline, histologic evidence without functional decline, and normal allograft function in the absence of histologic evidence of chronic rejection is proposed. Conclusions: It is the intent of this collaborative working group that these working definitions will help to focus ongoing research to define the incidence, risk factors and treatment regimens that will identify mechanisms of chronic rejection in vascularized composite allografts. As with all good research, our initial efforts have generated more questions than answers. We hope that this is the first of many updates.
- Vascularized composite allografts
- chronic rejection
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