Cardiac allograft vasculopathy in children - treatment challenges

Steven J. Kindel, Elfriede Pahl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cardiomyopathy in children accounts for greater than 50% of the cases of end-stage cardiac disease leading to heart transplantation in children. While early survival is excellent, late survival is limited with an average graft half-life of approximately 15. years in children. Cardiac allograft vasculopathy is a not uncommon complication of transplantation and is the leading cause of late graft loss and retransplantation in pediatric populations. Studies of the United Network of Organ Sharing database and the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study group report rates of coronary vasculopathy that increase from 5% at 2. years to 35% at 10. years. Coronary artery vasculopathy is a complex process caused by both immune mediated endothelial dysfunction and vascular changes as well as typical cardiovascular risk factors. Unfortunately, despite vigilant surveillance protocols, new onset graft dysfunction and sudden cardiac death can be the presenting symptoms of new disease. In recent years multiple medical and adjuvant therapies have been studied in relation to potential management to minimize this disease process. Further research and collaborative multi-center trials will be the most effective means of developing strategies for the prevention and treatment of coronary vasculopathy in pediatric heart transplant patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Pediatric Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • Cardiac allograft vasculopathy
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Graft dysfunction
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Transplant coronary artery disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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