5 August 2014
Cardiac allograft vasculopathy is the leading cause of graft failure and death in heart transplant (HTx) recipients; however, the association between the etiology of heart failure (ischemic cardiomyopathy [ICM] or non‐ICM) that led to HTx and progression of cardiac allograft vasculopathy, and adverse events after HTx has not been explored.
We retrospectively included 165 HTx patients, who were followed‐up with at least 2 virtual histology–intravascular ultrasound examinations after HTx, and grouped them as ICM (n=46) or non‐ICM (n=119). Coronary artery plaque volume was analyzed using virtual histology–intravascular ultrasound, and cardiovascular event data—a composite of myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure and arrhythmia, revascularization, retransplantation, and death including cardiovascular death—were collected from the medical records of all study subjects. ICM patients had significantly higher plaque volume at both first ( P=0.040) and follow‐up ( P=0.015) intravascular ultrasound examinations. After multivariate adjustment for traditional coronary risk factors, ICM was significantly associated with plaque progression (odds ratio 3.10; CI 1.17 to 9.36; P=0.023). Ten‐year cardiovascular event‐free survival was 50% in ICM patients compared with 84% in non‐ICM patients (log‐rank test P=0.003). In multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, ICM was significantly associated with a higher event rate after HTx (hazard ratio 2.02; 95% CI 1.01 to 4.00; P=0.048).