Endomyocardial biopsies in heart transplant patients offer the opportunity to study the myocardial interstitium in the context of myocardial function. For that purpose endomyocardial biopsies should reliably reflect the composition of the entire myocardium. We determined whether the collagen content in the subendocardial region of the right side of the interventricular septum (site of right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy), in 16 normal and 30 transplanted human hearts, is representative for the entire myocardium. Moreover we determined whether or not the mean collagen content of the myocardium is altered along with the posttransplantation survival time and which factors might contribute to the development of interstitial myocardial fibrosis. Transmural sections of the right and left ventricular free wall and interventricular septum were stained with Sirius red, which specifically stains collagen fibers. Collagen in the subendocardial region and central parts of the myocardium was quantified using a digital image analyzer. In normal hearts the mean collagen content of the subendocardial region of the right side of the interventricular septum (site of right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy) correlates well with the mean collagen content of the right ventricular wall and the center of the interventricular septum, but it does not reliably reflect the mean collagen content of the left ventricular free wall. In transplanted hearts the collagen content at the site of right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy correlates highly with the mean collagen content of the entire myocardium. In transplanted hearts the increase in collagen content is a result mainly of an increase in collagen of the left ventricular free wall. We conclude that in heart transplant patients, right ventricular endomyocardial biopsies have potential value in the analysis of the causes of left ventricular dysfunction. In transplanted human hearts, the posttransplantation survival time correlates positively with the collagen content, and this is attributable mainly to an increase in the collagen of the left ventricular free wall.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/1054-8807(95)00087-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/59462
Journal Cardiovascular Pathology
Citation
van Suylen, R-J, van Bekkum, E, Boersma, H, de Kok, L.B, Balk, A.H.M.M, Bos, E, & Bosman, F.T.B. (1996). Collagen content and distribution in the normal and transplanted human heart: A postmortem quantitative light microscopic analysis. Cardiovascular Pathology, 5(2), 61–68. doi:10.1016/1054-8807(95)00087-9