Although triple-drug immunosuppression with cyclosporine, prednisone, and azathioprine has reduced the incidence of acute graft rejection after cardiac transplant, its effect on the development of coronary artery disease is unknown. We have followed up 74 cardiac transplant recipients with yearly coronary angiograms. The probability of acute rejection was 10.8% at 1 year. The incidence of coronary artery disease was 8% at 1 year (six of 74 patients) and 24% at 2 years (11 of 30 patients). In patients who developed posttransplant coronary artery disease, there was a slightly higher, but not statistically significant, incidence of acute graft rejection and pretransplant idiopathic cardiomyopathy. No correlation was found between the incidence of coronary artery disease and recipient age, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol level, triglyceride levels, weight gain after transplant, and smoking. These data indicate that triple-drug immunosuppression, despite having produced a significant reduction in the episodes of acute graft rejection, has not decreased the incidence of posttransplant coronary artery disease. Common risk factors for coronary disease and HLA mismatch are probably not important in the pathogenesis of coronary atherosclerosis after cardiac transplantation, whereas the risk for coronary artery disease may be increased by acute graft rejection and pretransplant idiopathic cardiomyopathy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Issue number||5 SUPPL.|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1989|