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Safety of adenosine pharmacologic stress myocardial perfusion imaging in orthotopic cardiac transplant recipients: a single center experience of 102 transplant patients

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Denervation super-sensitivity to adenosine is well described in cardiac transplant (CT) patients particularly early after transplant. The safety and hemodynamic effects of adenosine SPECT (A-SPECT) has not been described in a large series of CT patients. Single center retrospective study of 102 CT patients undergoing A-SPECT were compared to an age-gender matched patients in a 2:1 fashion who underwent A-SPECT in the same time period. Multivariate logistic regression model were used to identify independent predictors of advanced AV block. The average time from CT to A-SPECT was 8.5 ± 4.5 years. Average age was 57 years with 80% males. In comparison to the control group, adenosine infusion was associated with a higher incidence of sinus pause (4.9% vs. 0%), 2nd (11.8% vs. 4.9%) and 3rd degree AVB (2.9% vs. 0%) in CT patients (all P < 0.05). Prior use of aspirin and baseline 1st degree AVB were significant independent predictors of adenosine induced AVB. Baseline right or left bundle branch block, beta-blockers, calcium blockers or digoxin were not associated with occurrence of AVB. Only 1.9% of A-SPECT studies were terminated due to bradyarrythmia with 1 patient requiring aminophylline. There were no significant immediate or long term adverse events in these patients. Adenosine pharmacologic stress is associated with a higher incidence of AVB and sinus pause in CT patients reflecting persistence of super sensitivity late after CT. Nevertheless these bradyarrythmias are transient without any sequelae suggesting that A-SPECT can be performed safely in CT patients.

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Research Grant Support: Astellas Global Pharma Development Inc, GE Healthcare, American Society of Echocardiography. Speakers Bureau, Honoraria: Astellas Pharma Global Development Inc, Lantheus Medical Imaging. Consultant: Lantheus Medical Imaging.

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Correspondence to Karthik Ananthasubramaniam.

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Al-Mallah, M.H., Arida, M., Garcia-Sayan, E. et al. Safety of adenosine pharmacologic stress myocardial perfusion imaging in orthotopic cardiac transplant recipients: a single center experience of 102 transplant patients. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 27, 1105–1111 (2011).

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