Statin therapy in cardiac allograft vasculopathy progression in heart transplant patients: Does potency matter?

Academic Article


  • Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a unique multi-factorial pathologic process encountered following heart transplantation. Several risk factors have been identified including a combination of immunologic and non-immunologic processes. Significant research has been conducted to elucidate the driving forces of CAV as well as improved identification, prevention and treatment strategies. Statin therapy following transplant remains the standard of care to help prevent the progression of CAV. The benefits of statin therapy following transplantation correspond to cholesterol control, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory mechanisms as well as potentially unknown mechanisms. Despite known drug interactions with calcineurin inhibitors, the use of statins is highly recommended in the current International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation guidelines. Limited research has been conducted on the impact of higher intensity statin therapy following heart transplant and the relative risks and benefits are unknown. This review focuses on risk factors and pathophysiology of CAV, the role of statin therapy in heart transplantation, and the potential added benefit of more intense statin therapy to limit the progression of this graft-limiting complication.
  • Keywords

  • Allografts, Calcineurin Inhibitors, Heart Diseases, Heart Transplantation, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sieg A; Weeks P; Krustchinsky L; Rajapreyar I
  • Start Page

  • 178
  • End Page

  • 186
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 3