Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), characterized by diffuse intimal thickening and luminal narrowing in the arteries of the allograft, is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in cardiac transplant recipients. Many transplant centers perform routine annual surveillance coronary angiography. However, angiography can underdiagnose or miss CAV due to its diffuse nature. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is more sensitive than angiography. IVUS provides not only accurate information on lumen size, but also quantification of intimal thickening, vessel wall morphology, and composition. IVUS has evolved as a valuable adjunct to angiography and the optimal diagnostic tool for early detection. Noninvasive testing such as dobutamine stress echocardiography and nuclear stress test have shown considerable accuracy in diagnosing significant CAV. Computed tomographic imaging and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging are promising new modalities but require further study. This article reviews the diagnostic methods that are currently available.
- Cardiac allograft vasculopathy
- intravascular ultrasound
- noninvasive testing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine