Noninvasive Diagnosis of Coronary Disease in Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients
Charles Canter, M.D.
Samuel Wickline, M.D.
- Congenital Heart Disease Center
Interdisciplinary Research Initiative
2/1/2010 - 1/31/2013
Transplanted hearts develop a specific type of coronary artery disease that is the most common cause of graft loss. Identification of transplant coronary artery disease in children with heart transplants continues to require injection of dye directly into the coronary arteries from catheters put inside the heart and blood vessels (invasive cardiac catheterization) every 1-2 years for the rest of the recipient’s life. New materials can identify inflammation in blood vessels and scar in heart muscle cells when the heart is imaged with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This approach has identified coronary artery disease in adults with atherosclerosis and scars in the heart from blockage of coronary arteries (myocardial infarctions) in adult heart transplant recipients. In the study funded by the Children’s Discovery Institute, pediatric heart transplant recipients will undergo heart MRI examination utilizing the new materials, to identify disease in the coronary arteries and heart muscle within a few days of children’s regularly scheduled cardiac catheterization to look for transplant coronary disease. The goal is to develop and demonstrate that these techniques will lead to an accurate way to substitute and replace cardiac catheterization in the diagnosis of this potentially life-limiting complication in pediatric heart transplantation.