Cardiac transplant patients are prone to accelerated coronary atherosclerosis. The mechanism by which this process occurs is not yet known, although immunologically mediated arterial injury is thought to play a primary role in its pathogenesis. Despite immunosuppressive potency, patients treated with cyclosporin A remain at significant risk for the development of accelerated atherosclerosis. It is hypothesized that cyclosporin A's hepatotoxic effects might contribute to the atherosclerotic process by impairing low density lipoprotein hepatic clearance in transplant patients, which would be reflected in a more atherogenic lipoprotein profile. To test this hypothesis, serum cholesterol levels were analyzed after transplantation. Significant and progressive increases in total cholesterol and in the total-to-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio were found. This atherogenic lipoprotein profile may contribute to accelerated atherosclerosis in cardiac transplant patients treated with cyclosporin A.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine