Uterus transplantation: Histological findings in explants at elective hysterectomy

Am J Transplant. 2021 Feb;21(2):798-808. doi: 10.1111/ajt.16213. Epub 2020 Aug 11.


Uterus transplantation has enabled women with absolute uterine factor infertility to carry a pregnancy. The first human uterus transplantation trial was initiated in 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was completed with 7 transplantations with long-term allograft survival and 9 children born from 6 women. In the present study we describe the histopathology of these 7 allografts, which were removed at 22-83 months after transplantation, and compare findings to control cases. Morphological findings in a subset of explants included linear subepithelial inflammation and perivascular stromal inflammation in the cervix, small inflammatory foci in the myometrium, and intimal inflammation in larger arteries. The average number of T cells, B cells, and macrophages was higher in transplants compared to normal controls, but variability was high among transplants. Chronic-active vascular rejection was seen in 2 of 7 transplants, both showed also inflammation in the cervix. Further, the inflammation seen in the cervix reflected the inflammation in the myometrium, suggesting that cervical biopsies are suitable to monitor rejection. However, the degree of inflammation and signs of rejection in explants did not reflect on the possibility to become pregnant in this limited series.

Keywords: clinical research/practice; immunohistochemistry; obstetrics and gynecology; pathology/histopathology; pregnancy; rejection; rejection: T cell-mediated (TCMR); reproductive biology; vascularized composite and reconstructive transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Pregnancy
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Uterus* / transplantation