The prognostic significance of non-invasive cardiac tests in heart transplant recipients
European Heart Journal
The long-term mortality and morbidity of cardiac transplant recipients is related to their subsequent development of accelerated coronary atheroma and its complications. Coronary angiography was compared with non-invasive clinical assessment to see which was better in predicting clinical outcome. Ninety-one consecutive transplant recipients (mean age 53 years), in whom investigations had been performed (exercise electrocardiography, rest and exercise radionuclide ventriculography, 2-D
... aphy, 2-D echocardiography and coronary angiography), were followed up for a mean period of 21 years. Eighteen patients had 31 cardiac events. There were five cardiac-related deaths, 17 myocardial infarctions and/or onsets of heart failure, eight percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasties and one coronary artery bypass graft. With cardiac event-free survival as the dependent variable and the results of the above investigations as independent variables, a series of univariate, bivariate and regression analyses were performed. On bivariate analysis, an echocardiographic ejection fraction of >60% significantly predicted both survival free of myocardial infarction and/or heart failure and/or cardiac death and survival free of any cardiac event (/ ) =0001 for both). Absence of coronary angiographic disease (both of <25% and of <50% luminal narrowing in any vessel) significantly predicted survival free of any cardiac event (/>=000004 and 0015, respectively). Neither radionuclide ventriculography nor exercise electrocardiography were significant predictors of event free survival. In conclusion, echocardiography is at least as important as coronary angiography in the follow-up and prognostic assessment of cardiac transplant recipients. Correspondence: Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub. Harefield Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex UB9 6JH, U.K.