Optical coherence tomography and highly sensitivity troponin T for evaluating cardiac allograft vasculopathy

  • Garrido I
  • García-Lara J
  • Pinar E
 et al. 
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Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a major impediment to long-term graft survival after heart transplantation. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is more sensitive than coronary angiography for diagnosis, but the identification of specific plaque components or plaque composition is limited. In addition, there is an evident need for other noninvasive tools for diagnosing CAV. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of 2 new techniques for evaluating CAV: optical coherence tomography (OCT), and new high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) assays. In 21 heart transplantation patients, coronary arteriography with IVUS and OCT were performed. Maximal intimal thickness (MIT) and luminal area at the most severe site were measured using the 2 techniques. Immediately before cardiac catheterization, blood samples were obtained and hsTnT levels measured. The evaluation of CAV by OCT showed a good correlation with IVUS measurements, with a mean difference in MIT of 0.0033 (95% confidence interval -0.049 to 0.043), taking advantage of lower interobserver variability (r = 0.94 for OCT vs r = 0.78 for IVUS) and better plaque characterization. When independent predictors of MIT were assessed in a multiple linear regression model, time after transplantation (β = 0.488, p = 0.004) and hsTnT (β = 0.392, p = 0.011) were the only independent predictors of MIT (R2= 0.591). In conclusion, this study is the first to evaluate 2 new techniques, OCT and hsTnT, in the challenging setting of CAV. The findings suggest that OCT provides lower interobserver variability and better plaque characterization than IVUS. Also, hsTnT could become a useful tool for ruling out CAV. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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