Supplementation with vitamin C and E appears to have clinical benefit in delaying then onset of arteriosclerosis in patients during the first year after heart transplantation.
Dr James Fang and colleagues at the Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, add that "antioxidant therapy with these vitamins may also be useful in other solid-organ allografts, such as kidney, lung, and liver transplants, in which obliteration of vascular or tubular structures limits long-term success."
The researchers carried out a double-blind prospective study based on a premise that treatment with antioxidant vitamins C and E would retard the progression of transplant-associated arteriosclerosis. They point out that transplant-associated arteriosclerosis is now the most important factor in long-term survival of cardiac-transplant recipients. Intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) shows it is present in more than 70 percent of recipients three years after receiving a transplant.