BACKGROUND: Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a complication beyond the first-year post-heart transplantation (HTx). We aimed to test the utility of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) to detect functional/structural changes in HTx recipients with CAV. METHODS: Seventy-seven prospectively recruited HTx recipients beyond the first-year post-HTx and 18 healthy controls underwent CMR, including cine imaging of ventricular function and T1-and T2-mapping to assess myocardial tissue changes. Data analysis included quantification of global cardiac function and regional T2, T1 and extracellular volume based on the 16-segment model. International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation criteria was used to adjudicate CAV grade (0–3) based on coronary angiography. RESULTS: The majority of HTx recipients (73%) presented with CAV (1: n = 42, 2/3: n = 14, 0: n = 21). Global and segmental T2 (49.5 ± 3.4 ms vs 50.6 ± 3.4 ms, p < 0.001;16/16 segments) were significantly elevated in CAV-0 compared to controls. When comparing CAV-2/3 to CAV-1, global and segmental T2 were significantly increased (53.6 ± 3.2 ms vs. 50.6 ± 2.9 ms, p < 0.001; 16/16 segments) and left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly decreased (54 ± 9% vs. 59 ± 9%, p < 0.05). No global, structural, or functional differences were seen between CAV-0 and CAV-1. CONCLUSIONS: Transplanted hearts display functional and structural alteration compared to native hearts, even in those without evidence of macrovasculopathy (CAV-0). In addition, CMR tissue parameters were sensitive to changes in CAV-1 vs. 2/3 (mild vs. moderate/severe). Further studies are warranted to evaluate the diagnostic value of CMR for the detection and classification of CAV.
- Coronary angiography
- Graft rejection
- Heart transplantation
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine