The role of viruses in cardiac allograft vasculopathy AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TRANSPLANTATION Valantine, H. A. 2004; 4 (2): 169-177


Considerable evidence suggests a role for viruses in transplant arteriosclerosis (TA), including observational data, experimental models and therapeutic trials implicating human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in the progression to TA. In pediatric heart transplant patients, adenoviral genome in endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) is an important predictor of TA and graft loss. During CMV viremia, EMBs from adult patients demonstrate endothelialitis and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. These changes are predictors of subsequent diffuse TA. HCMV immediate early proteins (IE-1 and IE-2) increase the constitutive expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) independent of other intracellular cytokines. Likewise, viral chemokines such as US28 have been implicated in vascular disease because of their ability to induce smooth muscle cell migration. Recent data suggests that CMV might accelerate TA through its ability to abrogate the vascular protective effects of the endothelium-derived nitric oxide system (eNOS). Confirmation of causality requires clinical trials demonstrating that antiviral agents such as ganciclovir inhibit TA. Such studies in patients though limited to retrospective analyses, suggest that ganciclovir prophylaxis early after heart transplantation reduces the risk of TA. These observations emphasize the need for randomized controlled clinical trials to confirm a causal role for CMV (and other viruses) in TA.

View details for DOI 10.1046/j.1600-6143.2003.00316.x

View details for Web of Science ID 000188644100004

View details for PubMedID 14974936