Case report: Transmission of choriocarcinoma to multiple recipients (heart recipient) (1987)

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Record number: 
MPHO Type: 
Estimated frequency: 
Most recent risk assessment for choriocarcinoma (Council of Europe, 2018): Potential donors with recently diagnosed choriocarcinoma represent an Unacceptable Risk for organ donation. Those with a history of choriocarcinoma represent a High or Unacceptable risk for organ donation due to the reported high transmission and mortality rates, depending upon recurrence free time, which is not clearly defined in the literature.
Time to detection: 
7 weeks
Alerting signals, symptoms, evidence of occurrence: 
Patients developed nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. Liver recipient: ultrasound found echogenic liver lesion not confirmed by CT. Chest Xray 3 weeks later showed small lung infiltrate. By 11 weeks the patient was hypodermic and had diffuse pulmonary infiltrates. She died on day 85. Kidney recipients: choriocarcinoma in the allografts. Heart recipient: no evidence of disease at the time of report.
Demonstration of imputability or root cause: 
Autopsy showed choriocarcinoma in liver and lungs with no involvement of ovaries or uterus. hCG level was found to be elevated with normal level pre-transplant. Retrospective donor testing showed elevated hCG. The donor was a 36 year old woman who had a history of multiple spontaneous abortions and died of cerebral hemorrhage. Information from other centers showed that both kidney recipients had transplant nephrectomies following abdominal pain and fever and were found to have choriocarcinoma in the allografts. One died of metastatic disease and the other was alive without disease at 5 months. The heart recipient had no evidence of disease at the time of report.
Imputability grade: 
3 Definite/Certain/Proven
Groups audience: 
Suggest new keywords: 
Case Report
Deceased donor
Kidney transplant
Kidney recipient
Kidney transplantation
Liver transplant
Liver recipient
Liver transplantation
Heart transplant
Heart recipient
Heart Transplantation
Therapy discussed
Reference attachment: 
Suggest references: 
Marsh JW Jr, Esquivel CO, Makowka L, Todo S, Gordon RD, Tzakis A, Miller C, Morris M, Staschak S, Iwatsuki S, et al. Accidental transplantation of malignant tumor from a donor to multiple recipients. Transplantation. 1987 Sep;44(3):449-50. doi: 10.1097/00007890-198709000-00025. PMID: 3307063; PMCID: PMC2952526.
Uploaded MN 5/13/22 First review MN 5/15/22 second review CLFF 5/16/22 (we could add multiple abortions as hint froms donor history, but I decided not to add because this is selfspeaking and we should not fix awareness of people only on this hint) I have cloned the record for kidney-choriocacrinoma)/ heart-risk of harm (EP)
Expert comments for publication: 
This older (1987) report serves as a prototype of what is recognized as a classic example of a donor at higher risk of harboring an unsuspected choriocarcinoma, namely a woman of childbearing age who died due to nontraumatic cerebral hemorrhage.