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J Heart Lung Transplant. 1993 Jan-Feb;12(1 Pt 1):89-99.

Coronary artery disease after heart transplantation: timing of coronary arteriography.

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Thoraxcenter, University Hospital Rotterdam-Dijkzigt, Erasmus University, The Netherlands.


The increasing numbers of long-term survivors after heart transplantation make yearly coronary arteriography, used by most centers to study the development of transplant coronary artery disease, less practical. Therefore the prevalence and clinical relevance of coronary artery disease in 119 one-year survivors of heart transplantation were studied. Visual analysis revealed two main patterns of vascular changes: abnormalities of the epicardial vessels and their major branches and abnormalities of the tertiary branches. The prevalence of all abnormalities in the coronary vascular tree increased from 34% after 1 year to 79% after 5 years. The prevalence of anatomically significant lesions (more than 50% stenosis in the epicardial branches or abrupt ending/proximal occlusion of tertiary branches) was only 11% after 5 years. During follow-up of 25 to 87 (median, 43) months, no significant coronary artery disease developed in the 101 patients who showed normal epicardial vessels or abnormal tertiary branches only at their first year angiography, and none of the patients died of ischemic heart disease. Of the 18 patients with abnormal epicardial vessels, three patients died of ischemic heart disease; one of these patients was treated with atherectomy and is alive at the moment of this report, and two patients showed progression of discrete lesions without evidence of ischemia until now. Based on these findings, a schedule for timing of arteriography was developed depending on the first-year coronary findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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