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Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery

Print version ISSN 0102-7638


MOREIRA, Roberto Douglas et al. Fractal dimension in quantifying the degree of myocardial cellular rejection after cardiac transplantation. Rev Bras Cir Cardiovasc [online]. 2011, vol.26, n.2, pp.155-163. ISSN 0102-7638.

INTRODUCTION: The term "Fractal" is derived from the Latin fractus meaning "irregular" or "broken" considering the observed structure with a non-integer dimension. There are many studies which employed the Fractal Dimension (FD) as a diagnostic tool. One of the most common methods for its study is the "Box Counting Method". OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to try to establish the contribution of FD in the quantification of myocardial cellular rejection after cardiac transplantation. METHODS: Microscopic digital images were captured at 800x600 resolution (magnification 100x). FD was calculated with the aid of "ImageJ software" with adaptations. The classification of the degrees of rejection was in agreement with the "International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation" (ISHLT 2004). The final report of the degree of rejection was confirmed and redefined after an exhaustive review of the slides by an external experienced pathologist. 658 slides were evaluated with the following distribution among the degrees of rejection (R): 335 (0R); 214 (1R); 70 (2R); 39 (3R). The data were statistically analyzed with Kruskal-Wallis tests and ROC curves being considered significant values of P < 0.05. RESULTS: There was significant statistical difference between the various degrees of rejection with the exception of R3 versus R2. The same trend was observed in applying the ROC curve. CONCLUSION: FD may contribute to the assessment of myocardial cellular rejection. Higher values are directly associated with progressively higher degrees of rejection. This may help in decision making of doubtful cases and those which contemplate the intensification of immunosuppressive medication.

Keywords : Cardiac surgical procedures; Graft rejection; Heart transplantation; Biopsy.

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