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Ask Dr. Boo!

Each month we will feature Dr. Boo’s responses to questions from our heart families.

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Q: Do some transplant recipients have greater risk factors for transplant coronary artery disease than others?
A: Thank you for asking about transplant coronary artery disease also known by the acronym “CAV”. I have wanted to revisit CAV. Since our understanding of the causes of CAV needs/ further research breakthroughs, our understanding of the risk factors for CAV is incomplete. There is a general agreement that CAV is the consequence of injury to the blood vessels to the heart, the coronary arteries.  We are pretty sure that some of the risks for developing CAV relate to injury to the donor heart before transplantation. To this, Enduring Hearts is dedicating new funding to study whether it is possible to reduce the injury to donor heart’s coronary arteries before transplantation to reduce/prevent CAV. We know that injuries following transplantation including any episodes and the severity of rejection and certain viral infections are risk factors for CAV. Enduring Hearts is funding research to better identify rejection early to prevent significant injuries to the transplanted heart that cause CAV.