Comparison of coronary lesions obtained by directional coronary atherectomy in unstable angina, stable angina, and restenosis after either atherectomy or angioplasty

Eloisa Arbustini, Stefano De Servi, Ezio Bramucci, Emanuele Porcu, Anna Maria Costante, Maurizia Grasso, Marta Diegoli, Roberta Fasani, Patrizia Morbini, Luigi Angoli, Mauro Boscarini, Sergio Repetto, Gianbattista Danzi, Luigi Niccoli, Luigi Campolo, Stefano Lucreziotti, Giuseppe Specchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study investigated the incidence of the histopathologic lesions and of growth factor expression in a consecutive series of directional coronary atherectomy (DCA) samples from 40 unstable angina pectoris patients without prior acute myocardial infarction and comfrom 18 patients with stable angina without previous infarction and 18 patients with restenosis. We investigated coronary thrombosis, neointimal hyperplasia, and inflammation. For unstable angina, we correlated the angiographic Ambrose plaque subtypes with the histopathologic findings. The immunophenotype of plaque cells ana the growth factor expression were assessed with specific antibodies for cell characterization and for the expression of basic fibrobiast and platelet-derived AA and AB growth factors and receptors. The incidence of coronary thrombosis was 35% in patients with unstable angina, 17% in those with stable angina, and 11% in patients with restenosis. Neointimal hyperplasia was found in 38% of unstable angina cases, in 17% of stable angina cases, and in 83% of restenosis cases. Inflammation without thrombus or accelerated progression occurred in 20% of unstable angina and 6% of stable angina samples. In 52% of unstable angina cases, inflammation coexisted with thrombosis and/or neointimal hyperplasia. In the unstable angina group, 71% of the plaques with thrombus had a corresponding angiographic pattern of complicated lesions. The growth factor expression, reported as percentage of cells immunostaining with different growth factor antibodies, was highest in restenosis, followed by unstable angina and stable angina lesions. We conclude that inflammation, thrombosis, and neointimal hyperplasia likely constitute the pathologic substrates of increasing coronary obstruction that causes unstable angina. Further studies are vital to elucidate whether accelerated progression results from organizing thrombosis, from inflammatory cell derived growth factors, or from both, and the extent to which inflammation and thrombosis exert reciprocal influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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