Rapamycin has been shown to reduce anatomical evidence of cardiac allograft vasculopathy, but its effect on coronary artery physiology is unknown.Twenty-seven patients without angiographic evidence of coronary artery disease underwent measurement of fractional flow reserve (FFR), coronary flow reserve (CFR), and the index of microcirculatory resistance (IMR) within 8 weeks and then 1 year after transplantation using a pressure sensor/thermistor-tipped guidewire. Measurements were compared between consecutive patients who were on rapamycin for at least 3 months during the first year after transplantation (rapamycin group, n = 9) and a comparable group on mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) instead (MMF group, n = 18).At baseline, there was no significant difference in FFR, CFR, or IMR between the 2 groups. At 1 year, FFR declined significantly in the MMF group (0.87 +/- 0.06 to 0.82 +/- 0.06, P = .009) but did not change in the rapamycin group (0.91 +/- 0.05 to 0.89 +/- 0.04, P = .33). Coronary flow reserve and IMR did not change significantly in the MMF group (3.1 +/- 1.7 to 3.2 +/- 1.0, P = .76; and 27.5 +/- 18.1 to 19.1 +/- 7.6, P = .10, respectively) but improved significantly in the rapamycin group (2.3 +/- 0.8 to 3.8 +/- 1.4, P < .03; and 27.0 +/- 11.5 to 17.6 +/- 7.5, P < .03, respectively). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that rapamycin therapy was an independent predictor of CFR and FFR at 1 year after transplantation.Early after cardiac transplantation, rapamycin therapy is associated with improved coronary artery physiology involving both the epicardial vessel and the microvasculature.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ahj.2008.02.004
View details for PubMedID 18440337