Non-invasive Imaging in the Evaluation of Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy in Heart Transplantation: A Systematic Review

Steven C. Ajluni, Haytham Mously, Tarek Chami, Jamal Hajjari, Amber Stout, Michael Zacharias, Chantal ElAmm, David Wilson, Scott E. Janus, Sadeer G. Al-Kindi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is the leading cause of long-term graft dysfunction in patients with heart transplantation and is linked with significant morbidity and mortality. Currently, the gold standard for diagnosing CAV is coronary imaging with intravascular ultrasound during traditional invasive coronary angiography. Invasive imaging, however, carries increased procedural risk and expense to patients in addition to requiring an experienced interventionalist. With the improvements in non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities such as transthoracic echocardiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, an alternative non-invasive imaging approach for the early detection of CAV may be feasible. In this systematic review, we explored the literature to investigate the utility of non-invasive imaging in diagnosis of CAV in >3000 patients across 49 studies. We also discuss the strengths and weaknesses for each imaging modality. Overall, all 4 imaging modalities show good to excellent accuracy for identifying CAV with significant variations across studies. Majority of the studies compared non-invasive imaging with invasive coronary angiography without intravascular imaging. In summary, non-invasive imaging modalities offer an alternative approach to invasive coronary imaging for CAV. Future studies should investigate longitudinal non-invasive protocols in low-risk patients after heart transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101103
JournalCurrent Problems in Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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