Background: Quilty lesions are common after heart transplantation; however, their relationship to vasculopathy has not been described. We tested the hypothesis that Quilty lesions are associated with increased expression of vitronectin receptor (αvβ3) and the subsequent development of coronary vasculopathy. Methods: A total of 140 heart transplant recipients underwent coronary intravascular ultrasound at baseline and at 1 year after transplantation, and we measured the change in coronary maximal intimal thickness. Endomyocardial biopsy specimens taken within 8 weeks after transplantation showed Quilty lesions in 54 of 140 (39%) patients (Quilty group). We compared these results with the remaining 86 of 140 patients (61%) who had no evidence of Quilty lesions during the same period (control group). We evaluated 10 endomyocardial biopsy specimens from each group for αvβ3, using immunohistochemistry staining and immunoblotting. Results: Quilty lesions stained positive for αvβ3, and Western blot analysis showed a 1.3-fold (p = 0.004) increase in expression of αvβ3. Compared with control, the Quilty group tended to have a greater incidence of post-transplant ischemic injury complicated by fibrosis (54% vs 38%, p = 0.08) and a greater reported incidence of "previous biopsy site" during the first 4 weeks after transplantation (48% vs 32%, p = 0.06). At 1 year, the Quilty group had a significant increase in the change in coronary maximal intimal thickness seen with intravascular ultrasound (0.54 ± 0.34 vs 0.42 ± 0.28 mm, p = 0.038). Conclusions: This is the first report to describe the association of Quilty lesions with coronary vasculopathy and its association with increased αvβ3 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine