Safety of regadenoson positron emission tomography stress testing in orthotopic heart transplant patients

John J. Lazarus*, Ashraf Saleh, Michael Ghannam, Keith Aaronson, Monica Colvin, Frank Pagani, Todd Koelling, James R. Corbett, Richard L. Weinberg, Venkatesh L. Murthy, Matthew C. Konerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: We sought to determine the safety of regadenoson (REG) stress testing in patients who have undergone orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). Background: Routine screening for cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is necessary after OHT. Adenosine stress is contraindicated after heart transplantation due to supersensitivity in denervated hearts. Safety of regadenoson stress following OHT has not been well studied. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data from OHT patients (N = 123) who were referred to REG stress testing. Medical records were reviewed to determine hemodynamic and ECG response to regadenoson and to identify adverse reactions. Results: No serious adverse events occurred. No life-threatening arrhythmias or hemodynamic changes occurred. Common side-effects related to regadenoson were observed, dyspnea being the most frequent (66.7%). On average the heart rate rose from 82.8 ± 12 to 95.7 ± 13.4 bpm (P < 0.001), systolic blood pressure decreased from 138.7 ± 20.9 to 115.9 ± 23.9 mmHg (P < 0.001) and mean arterial pressure decreased from 103.5 ± 14.1 to 84.72 ± 15.90 mmHg (P < 0.001) during stress protocol. There was no sustained ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, or second-or third-degree atrioventricular block. Conclusion: Regadenoson stress testing appears to be well tolerated and safe in OHT patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-948
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • heart failure
  • pharmacologic stress cardiac transplantation
  • Positron emission tomography
  • regadenoson
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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