Studies on structural changes of the carotid arteries and the heart in asymptomatic renal transplant recipients. (1/2863)

BACKGROUND: The present study was designed to characterize early structural changes of large arteries in renal transplant recipients with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease and normal blood pressure values, and to analyse the relationship between arterial alterations and those of the heart. METHODS: Intima media thickness and atherosclerotic plaques of the carotid arteries as well as left ventricular geometry and function were examined in 35 asymtomatic renal transplant recipients and 29 age- and sex-matched healthy controls by high resolution B-mode ultrasound and by echocardiography. RESULTS: Intima-media thickness of the carotid arteries was significantly higher in renal transplant recipients (1.21+/-0.08 mm) than in healthy controls (0.74+/-0.04 mm) (P<0.001). Atherosclerotic plaques were found in the majority of renal transplant recipients (71% vs 14% in healthy controls, P<0.001). Left ventricular mass index was significantly increased in the group of renal transplant recipients (264+/-13 g, 146+/-7 g/m2) when compared with healthy controls (155+/-8 g, 83+/-4 g/m2) (P<0.001). Multiple regression analysis in renal transplant recipients showed that intima media thickness of the carotid arteries was significantly related to left ventricular mass index (P<0.02), but not to age, blood pressure, body mass index, serum creatinine, cholesterol and lipoprotein (a) levels. In the group of healthy controls, intima-media thickness of the carotid artery was related to age (P<0.002), but not to left ventricular mass index or the other independent variables. CONCLUSIONS: The present study documents pronounced intima-media thickening in asymptomatic renal transplant recipients. Atherosclerotic lesions are present in most renal transplant recipients with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. We observed a parallelism between arterial wall thickening and left ventricular hypertrophy, although blood pressure levels were normal during haemodialysis therapy and after renal transplantation.  (+info)

Combined carotid endarterectomy and coronary artery bypass graft. (2/2863)

Atherosclerosis is a generalized disease which afflicts a considerable number of patients in both the carotid and coronary arteries. Although the risk of stroke or death use to combined carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is thought to be higher than that of each individual operation, the combined procedure is generally preferred over staged operations to treat such patients. We performed the combined procedure safely with the aid of intraoperative portable digital subtraction angiography (DSA). This report describes our experience with the operative strategy of simultaneous CEA and CABG. Ninety CEA and 404 CABG were carried out between January 1989 and December 1997. A total of six patients received the combined procedure with the aid of intraoperative DSA; they were studied retrospectively. Postoperative mortality and morbidity after the combined procedure was 0%. In the combined procedure, neurological complications are difficult to detect after CEA because the patient must be maintained under general anesthesia and extracorporeal circulation during the subsequent CABG. However, intraoperative DSA can confirm patency of the internal carotid artery and absence of flap formation after CEA, and the CABG can be performed safely. Intraoperative portable DSA between CEA and CABG is helpful in preventing perioperative stroke in the combined procedure.  (+info)

Brain-specific protein C activation during carotid artery occlusion in humans. (3/2863)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Activation of plasma protein C (PC) zymogen by thrombin-thrombomodulin at the endothelial surface is an important endogenous antithrombotic mechanism. It is unknown whether activated protein C (APC) is generated in vivo in the cerebrovasculature, because there is only limited thrombomodulin expression in human brain vascular endothelium. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that carotid occlusion produces brain-specific PC activation. METHODS: Blood samples were simultaneously collected from the ipsilateral internal jugular vein and radial artery before and during carotid cross-clamping and on "de-occlusion" in 8 awake patients undergoing routine carotid endarterectomy. Plasma PC zymogen and circulating APC levels were measured using enzyme immunocapture assay and expressed as percent of pooled plasma controls. RESULTS: Internal jugular vein APC levels increased 28% exclusively during carotid occlusion and then decreased 32% with de-occlusion (F=8.1, P<0.005). PC zymogen increased only 5.9% with occlusion (F=6.3, P<0.02), consistent with hemoconcentration. There were no changes in radial artery PC or APC levels. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate brain-specific protein C activation in humans during carotid occlusion and suggest a protective role for endogenous APC generation during cerebrovascular occlusion.  (+info)

Outcome of carotid artery occlusion is predicted by cerebrovascular reactivity. (4/2863)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of obtaining prognostic indications in patients with internal carotid occlusion on the basis of intracranial hemodynamic status, presence of previous symptoms of cerebrovascular failure, and baseline characteristics. METHODS: Cerebral hemodynamics were studied with transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. Cerebrovascular reactivity to apnea was calculated by means of the breath-holding index (BHI) in the middle cerebral arteries. Sixty-five patients with internal carotid artery occlusion were followed-up prospectively (median, 24 months), 23 patients were asymptomatic and 42 symptomatic (20 with transient ischemic attack and 22 with stroke). RESULTS: During the follow-up period, 11 symptomatic patients and 1 asymptomatic patient had another ischemic event ipsilateral to carotid occlusion. Among factors considered, only lower BHI values in the middle cerebral arteries ipsilateral to carotid occlusion and older age were significantly associated with the risk of developing symptoms (P=0.002 and P=0.003, respectively; Cox regression multivariate analysis). Based on our data, a cut point of the BHI value for distinguishing between pathological and normal cerebrovascular reactivity was determined to be 0.69. All patients except one, who developed TIA or stroke during the follow-up period, had BHI values ipsilateral to carotid occlusion of <0.69. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that impaired cerebrovascular reactivity is predictive for cerebral ischemic events in patients with carotid occlusion.  (+info)

Prevention of neointimal formation by a serine protease inhibitor, FUT-175, after carotid balloon injury in rats. (5/2863)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In vivo and vitro studies revealed the activation of thrombin and the complement system in vascular lesion formation during the process of atherosclerosis, along with pathological proliferation of smooth muscle cells. We examined the effect of the synthetic serine protease inhibitor FUT-175 (developed as a potent inhibitor of thrombin and the complement system) on vascular lesions using balloon dilatation-induced neointimal formation in the carotid artery of rats. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats underwent balloon dilatation injury of the left carotid artery to induce neointimal formation. Three groups of these rats (n=8, each) were treated with daily intraperitoneal injections of 1 of the following doses of FUT-175: 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 mg/d in 1 mL of saline for 7 consecutive days. The control group (n=8) was similarly treated with 1 mL of saline for 7 days. The injections were started immediately after balloon injury. Two weeks after the injury, the left carotid arteries were perfusion-fixed, and the areas of the neointimal and medial layer were analyzed under a microscope. RESULTS: A morphometric analysis revealed that there were significant differences in the intima-media ratio between the 4 groups treated with vehicle (saline) or a low, medium, or high dose of FUT-175 (1.45+/-0.11, 1.08+/-0.06, 0.71+/-0.04, or 0.32+/-0.04, respectively). This suppression was achieved in a dose-dependent manner by the administration of FUT-175 after balloon injury. In the histological study, it was demonstrated that FUT-175 suppresses the production of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB in the neointima and the medial smooth muscle cell layer. CONCLUSIONS: After balloon injury activated proteases that were inhibited by FUT-175 were demonstrated to have an essential role in the development of the pathological thickening of the arterial wall.  (+info)

Prostacyclin synthase gene transfer accelerates reendothelialization and inhibits neointimal formation in rat carotid arteries after balloon injury. (6/2863)

Prostacyclin (PGI2), a metabolite of arachidonic acid, has the vasoprotective effects of vasodilation, anti-platelet aggregation, and inhibition of smooth muscle cell proliferation. We hypothesized that an overexpression of endogenous PGI2 may accelerate the recovery from endothelial damage and inhibit neointimal formation in the injured artery. To test this hypothesis, we investigated in vivo transfer of the PGI2 synthase (PCS) gene into balloon-injured rat carotid arteries by a nonviral lipotransfection method. Seven days after transfection, a significant regeneration of endothelium was observed in the arteries transfected with a plasmid carrying the rat PCS gene (pCMV-PCS), but little regeneration was seen in those with the control plasmid carrying the lacZ gene (pCMV-lacZ) (percent luminal circumference lined by newly regenerated endothelium: 87. 1+/-6.9% in pCMV-PCS-transfected vessels and 6.9+/-0.2% in pCMV-lacZ vessels, P<0.001). BrdU staining of arterial segments demonstrated a significantly lower incorporation in pCMV-PCS-transfected vessels (7. 5+/-0.3% positive nuclei in vessel cells) than in pCMV-lacZ (50. 7+/-9.6%, P<0.01). Moreover, 2 weeks after transfection, the PCS gene transfer resulted in a significant inhibition of neointimal formation (88% reduction in ratio of intima/media areas), whereas medial area was similar among the groups. Arterial segments transfected with pCMV-PCS produced significantly higher levels of 6-keto-PGF1alpha, the main metabolite of PGI2, compared with the segments transfected with pCMV-lacZ (10.2+/-0.55 and 2.1+/-0.32 ng/mg tissue for pCMV-PCS and pCMV-placZ, P<0.001). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that an in vivo PCS gene transfer increased the production of PGI2 and markedly inhibited neointimal formation with accelerated reendothelialization in rat carotid arteries after balloon injury.  (+info)

Continuous perivascular L-arginine delivery increases total vessel area and reduces neointimal thickening after experimental balloon dilatation. (7/2863)

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether vascular remodeling and neointimal thickening occur after balloon dilatation of the nonatherosclerotic rabbit carotid artery, and whether both processes are influenced by continuous perivascular delivery of L-arginine or the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). In the first experiment, histological and morphometric evaluation of arteries was performed at different time points after balloon dilatation: 10 minutes (n=7), and 1 (n=7), 2 (n=9), 3 (n=20), or 10 (n=5) weeks. Neointimal thickening progressively contributed to luminal narrowing for at least 10 weeks after angioplasty. During the first 2 weeks after dilatation, a significant decrease of the total vessel area was measured. Ten weeks after dilatation, both the neointimal and total vessel area were increased without further changing of the luminal area. In the second experiment, endothelial injured rabbits were randomly assigned to receive 2 weeks of continuous local perivascular physiological salt solution (n=6), L-arginine (n=8), or L-NAME (n=7), starting immediately after balloon dilatation (ie, local drug delivery during the first phase of the biphasic vascular remodeling process). Perivascular L-arginine delivery significantly reduced the neointimal area, despite an increased number of neointimal Ki-67-positive smooth muscle cells. Both the luminal area and total vessel area were significantly increased. Serum L-arginine levels remained unchanged. L-NAME administration had no effect on the neointimal area, nor on the luminal and total vessel area. Neointimal formation and biphasic vascular remodeling occur after experimental balloon dilatation of the nonatherosclerotic rabbit carotid artery, and can be influenced by continuous local perivascular delivery of L-arginine.  (+info)

Lumen reduction measurements of the internal carotid artery before and after Levovist enhancement: reproducibility and agreement with angiography. (8/2863)

Our aim was to assess reproducibility of three different lumen reduction measuring methods--North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial, European Carotid Surgery Trial, and common carotid--using power Doppler and color Doppler sonography before and after Levovist enhancement. We included 20 symptomatic patients with mild or severe carotid disease. North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial, European Carotid Surgery Trial, and common carotid measurements on longitudinal views and European Carotid Surgery Trial measurements on transverse views were performed. Examinations were repeated and the results compared to assess reproducibility of measurements. Correlation with angiography was obtained by calculating Pearson correlation coefficients. Reproducibility was significantly better (P < 0.05) for European Carotid Surgery Trial and common carotid measurements (95% limits of agreement between -10% to 10% and -19% to 17%) as compared to North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial measurements (95% limits of agreement between -11% to 21% and -21% to 23%). Variability of measurements after enhancement increased slightly (not significant) for both power and color Doppler sonography. Additionally, European Carotid Surgery Trial measurements, using nonenhanced power Doppler or color Doppler sonography, did not correlate significantly with angiography, whereas North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial and common carotid measurements correlated well with angiography, particularly in power Doppler mode after enhancement (r = 0.88 and r = 0.82, respectively). We conclude that for lumen reduction measurements of the internal carotid artery with power and color Doppler sonography, the common carotid method is the only method that is reproducible and has good correlation with angiography, which slightly improves after Levovist enhancement.  (+info)