Background: Enhanced platelet reactivity may play a role in cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) progression. The use of antiplatelet agents after heart transplantation (HT) has been inconsistent and although aspirin (ASA) is often a part of the medication regimen after HT, limited evidence is available on its benefit. Methods and Results: CAV progression was assessed by measuring the difference in plaque volume and plaque index between the last follow-up and the baseline coronary intravascular ultrasound examination. Overall, 529 HT recipients were retrospectively analyzed (337 had ≥2 intravascular ultrasound studies). The progression in plaque volume (P = .007) and plaque index (P = .002) was significantly attenuated among patients treated with early ASA (within the first year after HT). Over a 6.7-year follow-up, all-cause mortality was lower with early ASA compared with late or no ASA use (P < .001). No cardiac deaths were observed in the early ASA group, and the risk of CAV-related graft dysfunction was significantly lower in this group (P = .03). However, the composite of all CAV-related events (cardiac death, CAV-related graft dysfunction, or coronary angioplasty) was not significantly different between the groups (P = .16). Conclusions: Early ASA use after HT may delay CAV progression and decrease mortality and CAV-related graft dysfunction, but does not seem to affect overall CAV-associated events.
- Cardiac allograft vasculopathy
- coronary intravascular ultrasound
- heart transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine