AIM: The aim of this study was to determine the clinical outcome of carotid endarterectomy in heart transplant recipients and morphologic features of atherosclerotic plaques removed during operation. METHODS: Between April 1993 and October 2001 5 heart transplant patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis >70% underwent carotid endarterectomy with regional anesthesia, including a staged bilateral procedure in one patient. Cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol were evaluated in each patient. The plaques ( n=6) underwent histologic analysis after carotid endarterectomy. Carotid artery duplex imaging was added to the routine postoperative evaluation. RESULTS: Carotid plaques resulted to be echolucent on B-mode ultrasound examination. Cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol levels were found to be increased, while HDL-cholesterol were decreased. All patients underwent successful carotid endarterectomy; there were no perioperative deaths, major neurologic or cardiac events. The mean length of stay was 2.2 days. The mean follow-up was 44 months. In 1 case, an asymptomatic restenosis >50% occurred 9 months later and, in 2 other cases, a contralateral mild stenosis was found 12 and 36 months later. One patient had a progressive contralateral stenosis, requiring operation 18 months later. High lipid content and heterogeneous cellular infiltration were observed, including macrophages, T-lymphocytes, neutrophils, and also eosinophils in the rapidly progressing plaque. CONCLUSIONS: Heart transplant patients receiving immunosuppression may successfully undergo carotid endarterectomy, without increased risk, but progression of atherosclerotic disease in the carotid arteries seems to continue, despite lipid-lowering regimen and antiplatelet therapy.
|Numero di pagine||5|
|Rivista||Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2005|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes