Heart transplantation is one of the most definitive therapies for end-stage heart failure. The therapy is unfortunately marred by the devastating complications of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). Non-invasive screening and assessment for CAV has been greatly limited by both low sensitivity and poor correlation with adverse outcomes. As such, invasive imaging with coronary angiography has emerged as the gold standard for detection of CAV. Although conventional coronary angiography serves well for larger lesions, the modality has been significantly enhanced with adjunct imaging to visualize the intimal hyperplasia that is a hallmark of the disease process. These modalities include intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). In the following review, we summarize both the invasive and non-invasive assessments of CAV. We further conclude that the current evidence poorly supports the use of non-invasive testing for early CAV and that a transition should be considered to routine early angiography with adjunctive intravascular imaging.
- Cardiac allograft vasculopathy
- Intravascular ultrasound
- Optical coherence tomography