CT of heart transplant recipients: Spectrum of disease

Friedrich D Knollmann, Manfred Hummel, Roland Hetzer, Roland Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The emergence of heart transplantation as the ultimate treatment for end-stage heart failure has been accompanied by new diagnostic challenges. Computed tomography (CT) has emerged as an important diagnostic tool in the evaluation of heart transplant recipients because many infectious, ischemic-hemorrhagic, and neoplastic complications are amenable to early detection with this modality. In the early postoperative period, CT is mostly indicated in the evaluation of infectious complications or cerebral symptoms. Later, CT is mostly performed for staging of infectious or neoplastic disease. Infectious complications include mediastinitis, soft-tissue inflammation, abscess formation, cerebral infarction, and aspergillosis. Complications related to ischemia or hemorrhage include allograft rejection and coronary allograft vasculopathy, the latter being the leading long-term cause of death in heart transplant recipients. CT is also indicated in malignant disease (eg, lymphoma, visceral carcinoma, skin tumors), which is the second most important long-term cause of death. Moreover, CT is helpful in identifying disease caused by immunosuppressive therapy (eg, leukoencephalopathy, osteoporosis, thoracic lipomatosis). CT has proved superior to both ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of heart transplant recipients. It has become the diagnostic modality of choice for many transplant-related complications and may help improve postoperative treatment of affected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1637-1648
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspergillosis, 60.2056
  • Brain, diseases, 10.8722
  • Coronary vessels, diseases, 54.459, 54.754
  • Grafts, 51.459, 54.459
  • Heart, transplantation, 51.459
  • Lipoma and lipomatosis, 60.319
  • Lymphoma, 34
  • Osteoporosis, 30.56, 40.56

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'CT of heart transplant recipients: Spectrum of disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this