Cardiac allograft vasculopathy: Advances in diagnosis

Qiangjun Cai, Umamahesh C. Rangasetty, Alejandro Barbagelata, Kenichi Fujise, Michael M. Koerner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • angiography
  • Cardiac allograft vasculopathy
  • diagnosis
  • intravascular ultrasound
  • noninvasive testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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