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Neuropathological study 16 years after autologous adrenal medullary transplantation in a Parkinson's disease patient



To date, there is no clinicopathological correlation of adrenal medullary transplant cases in patients with survival beyond a few years. Postmortem examination of a brain from a patient with Parkinson's disease (PD), 16 years after autologous adrenal medullary transplant, was performed using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and chromogranin A. The patient experienced a four-year initial improvement in motor function followed by resumption of the progressive nature of her disease that continued until her death. She expired 16 years following grafting. At autopsy, TH stain of the brain revealed severe loss of TH-immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and Lewy bodies, confirming the diagnosis of PD. The transplant site was identified by the presence of scarring and there was complete absence of any TH staining cells at the site of the transplant. There were few surviving cells staining with chromogranin A. The absence of TH-staining cells in the transplant 16 years after surgery provides further evidence that adrenal medullary transplants do not survive in the long term. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society