Coronary artery compliance and adaptive vessel remodelling in patients with stable and unstable coronary artery disease HEART Jeremias, A., Spies, C., Herity, N. A., Pomerantsev, E., Yock, P. G., Fitzgerald, P. J., Yeung, A. C. 2000; 84 (3): 314-319


To test the hypothesis that patients with unstable coronary syndromes show accentuated compensatory vessel enlargement compared with patients with stable angina, and that this may in part be related to increased coronary artery distensibility.In 23 patients with unstable coronary syndromes (10 with non-Q wave myocardial infarction and 13 with unstable angina), the culprit lesion was investigated by intravascular ultrasound before intervention. The vessel cross sectional area (VA), lumen area (LA), and plaque area (VA minus LA) were measured at end diastole and end systole at the lesion site and at the proximal and distal reference segments. Similar measurements were made in 23 patients with stable angina admitted during the same period and matched for age, sex, and target vessel. Calculations were made of remodelling index (VA at lesion site / VA at reference site), distensibility index ([(delta A/A)/delta P] x 10(3), where delta A is the luminal area change in systole and diastole and delta P the difference in systolic and diastolic blood pressure measured at the tip of the guiding catheter during a cardiac cycle), and stiffness index beta ([ln(P(sys)/P(dias))]/(delta D/D), where P(sys) is systolic pressure, P(dias) is diastolic pressure, and delta D is the difference between systolic and diastolic lumen diameters). Positive remodelling was defined as when the VA at the lesion was > 1.05 times larger than at the proximal reference site, and negative remodelling when the VA at the lesion was < 0.95 of the reference site.Mean (SD) LA at the lesion site was similar in both groups (4.03 (1.8) v 4.01 (1. 93) mm(2)), while plaque area was larger in the unstable group (13. 29 (4.04) v 8.34 (3.6) mm(2), p < 0.001). Remodelling index was greater in the unstable group (1.14 (0.18) v 0.83 (0.15), p < 0.001). Positive remodelling was observed in 15 patients in the unstable group (65%) but in only two (9%) in the stable group (p < 0.001). Negative remodelling occurred only in two patients with unstable symptoms (9%) but in 17 (74%) with stable symptoms. At the proximal reference segment, the difference in LA between systole and diastole was 0.99 (0.66) mm(2) in the unstable group and 0.39 (0.3) mm(2) in the stable group (p < 0.001), and the calculated coronary artery distensibility was 3.09 (2.69) and 0.94 (0.83) per mm Hg in unstable and stable patients, respectively (p < 0.001). The stiffness index beta was lower in patients with unstable angina (1.95 (0.94) v 3.1 (0.96), p < 0.001).Compensatory vessel enlargement occurs to a greater degree in patients with unstable than with stable coronary syndromes, and is associated with increased coronary artery distensibility.

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