Coronary artery fistula in the heart transplant patient. A potential complication of endomyocardial biopsy.
All follow-up annual cardiac catheterizations performed on recipients of orthotopic heart transplant were reviewed, and 14 patients with coronary artery fistula were identified. The prevalence (8.0%, 14 of 176 patients) was strikingly higher than that for patients without transplant (0.2%) who underwent routine cardiac catheterization. These 14 patients had 21 coronary artery fistulas: single in nine and multiple in five patients. Fifty-two percent arose from the right, 43% from the left anterior descending, and 5% from the circumflex coronary artery. All drained into the right ventricle. Four patients underwent oximetric evaluation, and left-to-right shunting was not detectable. No patient had symptoms attributable to the fistula. Hemodynamic measurements were similar to those of a control group of 28 age- and sex-matched recipients of heart transplant without coronary artery fistula; however, the cardiac index (p = 0.02) and pulmonary artery oxygen saturation (p = 0.03) were significantly higher, and the arteriovenous oxygen difference (p = 0.01) was significantly lower in the group with coronary artery fistula. The histologic features of rejection, large arterioles, or epicardial fat on any biopsy specimen predating coronary artery fistula diagnosis were not associated with the development of the fistula when the two groups were compared. Nine patients (11 coronary artery fistulas) had follow-up studies performed, and three fistulas were larger, three were unchanged, two were smaller, and three had resolved. No complications of coronary artery fistula developed during a mean follow-up of 28 months (range, 12-42 months).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association