Cardiac allograft vasculopathy after heart transplantation: current prevention and treatment strategies.
OBJECTIVE:Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a leading cause of mortality in heart transplantation patients. Despite optimal immunosuppression therapy, the rate of CAV post-transplantation remains high. In this review, we gathered all recent studies as well as experimental evidence focusing on the prevention and treatment strategies regarding CAV after heart transplantation. MATERIALS AND METHODS:A complete literature survey was performed using the PubMed database search to gather available information regarding prevention and treatment strategies of CAV after heart transplantation. RESULTS:Several non-immune and immune factors have been linked to CAV such as ischemic reperfusion injury, metabolic disorders, cytomegalovirus infection, coronary endothelial dysfunction, injury and inflammation respectively. Serial coronary angiography combined with intravascular ultrasound is currently the method of choice for detecting early disease. Biomarkers and noninvasive imaging can also assist in the early identification of CAV. Treatment strategies such as mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors proceed to grow, but prevention remains the objective. CONCLUSIONS:Early detection is the key to therapy management. It enables early identification and diagnosis of patients with CAV, who would gain the most from prompt treatment. Further investigation is needed to elucidate the multifactorial pathophysiological process of CAV, develop detection methods and find treatments that prevent or slow disease progression.
Spartalis, M; Spartalis, E; Tzatzaki, E; Tsilimigras, DI; Moris, D; Kontogiannis, C; Iliopoulos, DC; Voudris, V; Siasos, G
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