Background: Hypertension is a potential risk factor for allograft coronary vasculopathy. We evaluated the efficacy of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and calcium antagonists, and their combined use, on the development of coronary vasculopathy in hypertensive heart transplant recipients. Methods: Eighty-two heart transplant recipients underwent serial intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) analysis at baseline (within 1 month) and at 1 year after transplantation and were evaluated for the development of coronary vasculopathy. Patients were divided into 4 groups. Nineteen normotensive recipients received no treatment, control (Group A). Hypertensive patients were treated with either ACE inhibitors (Group B, n = 37), calcium antagonists (Group C, n = 16), or both (Group D, n = 10). Results: We found a significant reduction in IVUS indices of coronary vasculopathy in heart transplant recipients who used a combination of an ACE inhibitor and a calcium antagonist compared with recipients who used either drug alone (p < 0.05). This synergistic efficacy was independent of the baseline indices evaluated in a multivariate regression analysis model and was noted despite comparable mean arterial pressure among the 3 hypertensive groups at 1 year, thus suggesting the presence of a synergistic anti-proliferative effect beyond the anti-hypertensive efficacy. Conclusions: The combined use of an ACE inhibitor and a calcium antagonist is more effective than the individual use of either drug alone on the development of coronary vasculopathy in cardiac transplant recipients. Large randomized clinical trials are warranted to evaluate such a synergistic efficacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine