Following a cardiac transplant, some individuals will develop a type of chronic rejection called coronary artery disease. This is different from the narrowed arteries often seen in individuals who have not had heart transplants. It can happen at any time after a heart transplant, but usually is seen a few years after the surgery. Another complication is called cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). CAV makes the walls of the heart's arteries thick and hard making blood circulation more difficult. It can result in a heart attack, failure of the heart, cardiac death, or abnormal heart rhythms.
Peter J. Longo, MD
- internal medicine
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Can I get coronary artery disease after a cardiac transplant?
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
What is a radionuclide for assessing the heart?
Brigham and Women's Hospital answeredA radionuclide is a radioactive substance used as a "tracer," which means it travels through the bloodstream and is taken up (absorbed) by the healthy heart muscle tissue. There are different types of radionuclides.
When one type of radionuclide is used to diagnose heart disorders, areas of the myocardium that have blocked or partially blocked arteries will be seen on the scan as "cold spots," or "defects," because these areas will be unable to take the radionuclide into the myocardium.
Another type of radionuclide binds to the calcium that is released when a heart attack occurs, so it will accumulate in area(s) of injured heart tissue as a "hot spot" on the scan.
What are aortic regurgitation and aortic stenosis?
Over time, the bicuspid aortic valve can malfunction causing one of the following problems:
Aortic Regurgitation: The valve cusps do not close properly, allowing blood to leak back into the left ventricle.
Aortic Stenosis: The valve opening becomes narrowed, making it difficult for blood to be pumped out of the left ventricle. This puts added stress on the heart muscle. The additional force needed to pump blood causes a rise in pressure in the left ventricle. Eventually, the heart muscle thickens and stiffens in response to the higher pressure. Finally, the heart muscle weakens, and adequate blood supply is not available for the rest of the body.
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