Evaluation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy by positron emission tomography

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Jan 3. doi: 10.1007/s12350-020-02438-0. Online ahead of print.


Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) remains one of the most important late occurring complications in heart transplant (HT) recipients significantly effecting graft survival. Recently, there has been tremendous focus on the development of effective and safe non-invasive diagnostic strategies for the diagnosis of CAV employing a wide range of imaging technologies. During the past decade multiple studies have been published using positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging, establishing the value of PET myocardial blood flow quantification for the evaluation of CAV. These independent investigations demonstrate that PET can be successfully used to establish the diagnosis of CAV, can be utilized for prognostication and may be used for serial monitoring of HT recipients. In addition, molecular imaging techniques have started to emerge as new tools to enhance our knowledge to better understand the pathophysiology of CAV.

Keywords: Myocardial flow reserve; allograft vasculopathy; coronary flow reserve; heart transplantation; myocardial blood flow; nuclear cardiology; positron emission tomography.

Publication types

  • Review