Background. Previous studies on the association between cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) were conducted on patients transplanted in the prevalganciclovir prophylaxis era. The aim of our study is to evaluate this relation in heart transplantation (HTx) recipients treated according to current prophylactic and immunosuppressive regimens. Methods. This single-center retrospective study included all consecutive adult patients that underwent HTx between January 1, 2000, and May 31, 2018. Clinically relevant CMV infection was defined as either plasma CMV DNAemia ≥ 1000 IU/mL with/without clinical symptoms or <1000 IU/mL with symptoms. The primary endpoint was first manifestation of CAV diagnosed by coronary angiography. For statistical analysis, the cause-specific hazard regression model was applied, with clinically relevant CMV infection and any CMV infection as time-dependent variables. Results. In total, 260 patients were included in the analysis. The median (interquartile range) follow-up was 7.88 (4.21–12.04) years. During the follow-up, clinically relevant CMV infection was diagnosed in 96 (37%) patients and CAV in 149 (57%) patients. In the multivariate regression analysis, independent predictors of CAV were: number of rejection episodes (cause-specific hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.18 [1.04-1.34], P = 0.01), hypertension (1.61 [1.11-2.34], P = 0.01), treatment with mycophenolate mofetil (0.68 [0.47-0.97], P = 0.03). No significant association was observed between CMV infection and CAV, except for patients who experienced a breakthrough CMV infection (n = 24) during prophylaxis (1.94 [1.11-3.40], P = 0.02). Conclusions. In the era of contemporary immunosuppression and valganciclovir prophylaxis, a significant effect of CMV infection on the risk of CAV was seen only among HTx recipients with CMV breakthrough infection.,
Department of Cardiology

Klimczak-Tomaniak, D., Roest, S., Brugts, J.J., Caliskan, K.C, Kardys, I, Zijlstra, F, … Manintveld, O.C. (2019). The Association Between Cytomegalovirus Infection and Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy in the Era of Antiviral Valganciclovir Prophylaxis. Transplantation, 104(7), 1508–1518. doi:10.1097/tp.0000000000003015