Pathophysiology and treatment of lipid perturbation after cardiac transplantation
In this review we examine the complex interactions between lipoprotein metabolism, immunosuppressive drug therapy, and inflammation and the potential benefits of lipid-lowering drug therapy after heart transplantation. The newer formulations of cyclosporine, Neoral (Novartis Pharmaceuticals; Basle, Switzerland), and other newer agents such as tacrolimus may have advantages in regard to lipid metabolism as compared with traditional triple-drug immunosuppression. Lipoprotein levels may influence both the toxicity and efficacy of cyclosporine. Dyslipidemia may adversely influence inflammation and rejection in the allograft. Two recent clinical trials have shown that lipid-lowering therapy with a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor alone or in combination with low-density lipoprotein apheresis may confer significant benefits toward preventing transplant coronary artery disease.