Background: Increasing interest has focused on possible viral triggers of cardiac allograft vasculopathy. Although much interest has centered on cytomegalovirus, it has recently been noted that donor hepatitis C seropositivity is associated with risk for accelerated vasculopathy. The current study hypothesized that hepatitis B (HBV) might be associated with accelerated vasculopathy. Methods: Sixty-six patients who received heart transplants between September 1998 and July 2000 were analyzed by intravascular ultrasound within 6 weeks and again at 12 months after transplantation. These patients were divided into 2 groups: the HBV Group (n = 13) in which either the donor or recipient was seropositive for hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb), and a Control Group (n = 53) in which neither donor nor recipient was positive for HBcAb. Results: Baseline characteristics of the 2 groups were similar. The HBV Group had significant increase in the change in average intimal area (1.59 ± 1.4 vs 0.46 ± 0.4 mm2, p = 0.01) per mm length of the vessel compared with controls. Allograft vasculopathy at 1 year (defined as largest maximal intimal thickness increase of ≥0.50 mm) occurred in 46% of the HBV group compared with 24% of the control group (p = 0.05). When measured as an average maximal intimal thickness increase of >0.30 mm, allograft vasculopathy at 1 year occurred in 31% of the HBV Group compared with 5% of Controls (p = 0.01). Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that HBV seropositivity in donor or recipient may be associated with an increased risk for cardiac allograft vasculopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine