The presentation, mechanisms, and incidence of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in heart transplant recipients have been characterized only to a limited degree in the current literature. Herein, we present a unique case of STEMI years after heart transplantation with a focus on the salient features of its diagnosis and interventions. We also provide a review of the epidemiology of this phenomenon.A 33-year-old woman who was status post cardiac transplantation for dilated cardiomyopathy presented to the clinic with mild nonspecific fatigue and concern after having noticed relative bradycardia compared with her posttransplantation baseline heart rate. Electrocardiogram (ECG) showed junctional rhythm and inferior ST elevations, likely reflecting nodal ischemia. Troponins were grossly positive and echocardiogram showed marked right ventricular dysfunction.Successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with aspiration thrombectomy and drug-eluting stent placement was emergently performed. The heart's rhythm soon returned to sinus tachycardia. Right ventricular wall-motion abnormalities resolved. The patient suffered no clinical sequelae of her STEMI.This case illustrated that "classic" symptoms of STEMI may not occur at all in the setting of heart transplantation. To our knowledge, this is the first case of posttransplantation STEMI presenting as asymptomatic bradycardia, and highlights the importance of maintaining high clinical suspicion for ischemia in transplant recipients with subtle changes. In reviewing the epidemiology of this case, we locate and bundle different types of studies that have directly or indirectly looked at STEMI in heart transplantation. For a variety of putative pathophysiological reasons, STEMI is indeed a rare manifestation of the common transplant phenomenon of coronary artery vasculopathy (CAV).
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.08.021
View details for PubMedID 23498821