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Transplantation. 2004 May 27;77(10):1522-8.

Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in liver transplant patients with chronic allograft rejection.

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2nd Institute of Pathology, Semmelweis University, Ullõi str. 93, Budapest H-1091, Hungary.



Chlamydia pneumoniae is one of the possible pathogenetic factors of atherosclerotic processes. Foam cell arteriopathy is a generally accepted pathologic feature of chronic liver allograft rejection and has several similarities to the early lesions of atherosclerosis. The aim of the authors' study was to show any existing correlation between the occurrence of Chlamydia pneumoniae and the presence of foam cell arteriopathy in transplanted livers with chronic rejection.


Ten liver samples from patients with chronic liver rejection including foam cell arteriopathy and 10 liver samples from healthy individuals were analyzed for the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae by specific immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Liver samples from two transplant patients with chronic liver rejection without any evidence of foam cell arteriopathy and nine patients with acute liver allograft rejection were also investigated by PCR.


In all 10 rejected liver samples, Chlamydia pneumoniae was detected by PCR, whereas only one of the healthy control samples and one of the samples with acute rejection were found to be positive. Immunohistochemistry showed similar results. The positive signals of Chlamydia pneumoniae were localized mainly in the hepatocytes, sinusoidal and perisinusoidal cells, and the cells of portal tracts, whereas most of the altered hepatic arteries showed no or very weak positivity.


The results strongly suggest an association between the occurrence of Chlamydia pneumoniae and the presence of foam cell arteriopathy in transplanted livers.

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