Surveillance for cardiac allograft vasculopathy: Practice variations among 50 pediatric heart transplant centers

Deipanjan Nandi*, Clifford Chin, Kurt R. Schumacher, Matthew Fenton, Rakesh K. Singh, Kimberly Y. Lin, Jennifer Conway, Ryan S. Cantor, Devin A. Koehl, Jacqueline M. Lamour, James K. Kirklin, Elfriede Pahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a leading cause of mortality after heart transplantation (HT) in children. Variation in CAV screening practices may impact detection rates and patient outcomes. METHODS: Among 50 Pediatric Heart Transplant Society (PHTS) sites from 2001 to 2016, coronary evaluations were classified as angiography or non-invasive testing, and angiograms were designated as routine or symptom based. CAV detection rates stratified by routine vs symptom-based angiograms were calculated. Freedom from CAV and mortality after CAV diagnosis, stratified by study indication, were calculated. RESULTS: A total of 3,442 children had 13,768 coronary evaluations; of these, 97% (n = 13,012) were for routine surveillance, and only 3% (n = 333) were for cause. Over the study period, CAV was detected in 472 patients (14%). Whereas 58% (n = 29) of PHTS sites evaluate by angiography alone, 42% reported supplementing with a non-invasive test, although only 423 non-invasive studies were reported. Angiographic detection of CAV was higher for symptom-based testing than for routine testing (29% vs 4%, p < 0.0001), although routine testing identified a majority of cases (88%; n = 414). The 10-year freedom from CAV was 77% overall. Once CAV is detected, 5-year graft survival was 58%, with lower survival for patients diagnosed after symptoms angiogram than after routine angiogram (30% vs 62%; p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Development of a robust model for CAV risk should allow low-risk patients to undergo less frequent invasive angiography without adverse impact on CAV detection rates or outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1269
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • angiography
  • coronary allograft vasculopathy
  • heart transplant
  • pediatrics
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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