Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy links to Clonal Hematopoiesis Genetics

Published by Luke Morais on

Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy links to Clonal Hematopoiesis Genetics

 

What is cardiac allograft vasculopathy? 

Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a problem that can happen to people who have had a heart transplant. It happens because the body’s immune system attacks the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart. This can make the heart not work well and can even cause death. People with CAV might feel tired or have trouble breathing, but they might not feel chest pain. 

 

What is clonal hematopoiesis indeterminate potential

Clonal hematopoiesis indeterminate potential (CHIP) is when a type of cell in your blood starts making cells with genetic changes. These changes can increase the risk of getting blood cancer or heart problems. However, most people with CHIP never have any symptoms or problems. It is usually found by chance when doctors test your blood for other reasons. Only a very small number of people with CHIP get blood cancer each year and the risk of heart problems. People with CHIP seem to also have more problems with CAV but it has not been studied much.

 

How was the research done?

Researchers want to see if there is a connection between CHIP and CAV after a heart transplant. They think that having CHIP might make someone more likely to develop CAV. They will look at the medical records of people who have CAV and people who don’t after a heart transplant. The study team will check if patients have the CHIP condition by testing their DNA. They will also look at how severe the patients’ CAV is and see if there is a connection between the severity and CHIP. They think that if someone has a certain level of CHIP in their DNA, they might have a more severe case of CAV.

 

What is the significance of this study?

This study is trying to discover why some people who get a heart transplant might develop CAV. If researchers find out that CHIP makes it more likely to get CAV, they can do more tests to catch CAV earlier and treat it sooner. If they find out that CHIP is not related to CAV, they can use this information to look for other reasons why CAV happens. This study can help researchers find new ways to treat and monitor people who have had a heart transplant.

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