Meccanismi della disfunzione microvascolare coronarica.

Translated title of the contribution: Mechanisms of coronary microvascular dysfunction

D. Cianflone, G. A. Lanza, M. L. Finocchiaro, F. Crea, A. Maseri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abnormal constriction of coronary resistive vessels can induce angina and myocardial ischemia. The possibility that a microvascular vasomotor dysfunction could cause ischemia is in contrast with the well-known traditional notion that a metabolically induced vasodilation could compensate for the effect of an epicardial coronary stenosis. Vasoconstrictor stimuli can plausibly act on vessels situated immediately proximal (prearterioles) to those that can be dilated by ischemia metabolites (arterioles). This functional 2-compartment model of resistive vessels is based on the ability of different substances to cause opposite actions on resistive vessels with different sizes. The possible mechanisms of prearteriolar dysfunction, observed in patients with syndrome X, single vessel disease after a successful PTCA and in a subset of chronic stable patients include: an organic reduction of total vascular section; vascular smooth muscle hyperreactivity to heterogeneous constrictor stimuli; an impaired flow-mediated endothelium-dependent vasodilation (possibly due to a reduced NO and/or EDHF synthesis). The first and third hypothesis can only account for anginal episodes at effort while the second model could explain episodes occurring at rest and without an increase in heart rate. Those mechanisms causing an imbalance between myocardial oxygen supply and demand, induce an increased release of adenosine in order to promote a compensating vasodilation. Adenosine can possibly avoid the occurrence of ischemia but, being a powerful algogenic stimulus, causes pain. It is worth noting that the presence of patchy prearteriolar dysfunction induces areas with excessive release of adenosine. Since total vascular section is extremely large a massive adenosine spill-over can occur with a consequential boosting of algogenic and vasodilatory effect.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Translated title of the contributionMechanisms of coronary microvascular dysfunction
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
Issue number12 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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