Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy in Redo-transplants: Is it More or Less the Same the Second Time Around?

Lauren McCreath, Michael J Bonios, Antigone Koliopoulou, Omar Wever-Pinzon, Spencer Wright, Rami Alharethi, Stephen H McKellar, Greg Snow, Bruce B Reid, Katerina Skedros, Anya Ragnhildstveit, Jose Nativi, Abdallah G Kfoury, Stavros G Drakos


Purpose: Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) continues to hinder the long-term success of heart transplant recipients.  Redo-transplantation is currently the only definitive treatment for advanced CAV. We examined whether these patients are at similar CAV-risk with the second transplant

Methods: Heart recipients from 1985 to 2011 at the UTAH program were included in the study and those with CAV as an indication for redo-transplantation were identified. CAV diagnosis was made by coronary angiography and based on the 2010 ISHLT standardized nomenclature for CAV. Patient demographics, rejection history, and CAV incidence were analyzed. 

Results: Of the 1,169 eligible patients, 135 (11.5%) developed CAV post their first transplant; 78 cases within 10 years and 54 beyond 10 years. The mean time to CAV was 6.58 years. Of the 135 patients who developed CAV, only 21 (15.5%) ended up requiring a redo-transplant. Of the 21 retransplanted patients, 4 (19.0%) developed CAV again; 2 patients within 10 years and 2 patients beyond 10 years indicating a similar risk for CAV occurrence for first and redo-transplant. 

Conclusions: Our results indicate that CAV is as likely to develop in redo-transplants despite recent advances in immunosuppression and the standardized use of lipid-lowering agents. Although outcomes in redo-transplantation for the indication of CAV are favorable, efforts to better understand and minimize CAV are needed, especially in the face of scarce donor organs.


Cardiac allograft vasculopathy; heart transplant; coronary angiography; immunosuppression

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.