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Lipid abnormalities after cardiac transplantation

Howard J Eisen, MD
Section Editors
Sharon A Hunt, MD
Mason W Freeman, MD
Deputy Editor
Gordon M Saperia, MD, FACC


Hyperlipidemia occurs in 60 to 83 percent of heart transplant recipients treated with modern, conventional immunosuppressive therapy [1-6]. The abnormalities that occur include elevations in the serum levels of total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and in serum triglycerides (TG).

The magnitude of these effects was illustrated in a study of 100 heart transplant recipients who survived more than three months after surgery [1]. The following differences were noted between the baseline and three month values; there were no significant further increases over time:

Total cholesterol – 168 to 234 mg/dL (4.4 to 6.1 mmol/L)

LDL cholesterol – 111 to 148 mg/dL (2.9 to 3.8 mmol/L)

High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – 34 to 47 mg/dL (0.9 to 1.2 mmol/L)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 12, 2017.
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