Cytomegalovirus, heart transplantation
Heart transplantation, CMV infection
Endomyocardial biopsy, CMV infection
Vasculopathy, CMV infection
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In order to determine the impact of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection on cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), we quantitated angiograms and endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) specimens obtained from 53 heart transplant recipients. CMV infection was particularly associated with the development of discrete stenosis in major branch vessels (P〈0.03). Also, the number of diffusely affected vessel segments was significantly higher in CMV patients than in CMV-free recipients after the 2nd post-operative year (P〈0.05). The EMB histology correlated well with angiography. Significantly higher levels of arteriolar endothelial cell proliferation and intimal thickness were recorded in biopsies of CMV patients than in those of CMV-free recipients during the 1st postoperative year (P〈0.02 and P〈0.005, respectively). The CMV-associated vascular changes in EMB histology clearly preceded angiographically detectable CAV findings. Taken together, CMV infection accelerated heart allograft arteriosclerosis. The histological changes appeared prior to changes detected by coronary angiography. The CMV effect was particularly pronounced during the first 2 post-transplant years but leveled off thereafter. Thus, CMV-accelerated allograft arteriosclerosis may be linked in particular with early graft loss of CMV-infected heart transplant recipients.
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