Standardizing skin biopsy sampling to assess rejection in vascularized composite allotransplantation

Theresa Hautz, Bettina G. Zelger, Annemarie Weißenbacher, Bernhard Zelger, Gerald Brandacher, Luis Landin, Emmanuel Morelon, Jean Kanitakis, Jerzy Jablecki, W. P.Andrew Lee, Johann Pratschke, Stefan Schneeberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Over 70 hands and 20 faces have been transplanted during the past 13 yr, which have shown good to excellent functional and esthetic outcomes. However, (skin) rejection episodes complicate the post-operative courses of hand and face transplant recipients and are still a major obstacle to overcome after reconstructive allotransplantation. This article summarizes all relevant information on the skin component and rejection of a vascularized composite allograft. As more and more centers plan to implement a vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) program, we further develop guidelines and recommendations on collection and processing of skin biopsies from hand and face allograft recipients. This will help to standardize post-operative monitoring, avoid pitfalls for those new in the field and facilitate comparison of data on VCA between centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E81-E90
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013



  • Face transplantation
  • Hand transplantation
  • Skin biopsy
  • Skin rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

Cite this

Hautz, T., Zelger, B. G., Weißenbacher, A., Zelger, B., Brandacher, G., Landin, L., Morelon, E., Kanitakis, J., Jablecki, J., Lee, W. P. A., Pratschke, J., & Schneeberger, S. (2013). Standardizing skin biopsy sampling to assess rejection in vascularized composite allotransplantation. Clinical Transplantation, 27(2), E81-E90.