Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a unique form of accelerated plaque formation seen in the coronary arteries of patients who have received heart transplantation. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients after heart transplant. Little progress has been made in characterizing this disease process, with more sophisticated imaging allowing for more detailed analysis of CAV, superior stratification of transplant recipients is possible and earlier interventions can be performed if necessary to prevent mortality and graft loss.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a novel imaging modality with much higher resolution then Intra-Vascular Ultrasound (IVUS). This study will involve examining patients post-heart transplant using this high-resolution imaging modality. It is currently the standard care for patients post-heart transplant to receive annual coronary angiograms with close follow up. Patients will be imaged using OCT at the time of their routine annual angiogram, and will be re-imaged one year later at the time of the next annual angiogram or earlier if clinically indicated. The study goal is to better characterize CAV in vivo with OCT imaging and to try to identify patterns of the disease, including intra-coronary risk assessment.