Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More Fallout From Plaque Ruptures In Store For Heart Attack Survivors

Date:
July 24, 2002
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
The blood clot that causes a heart attack may not act alone. Hidden plaque ruptures may cause further damage, according to a three-dimensional ultrasound study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, July 23 – The blood clot that causes a heart attack may not act alone. Hidden plaque ruptures may cause further damage, according to a three-dimensional ultrasound study published in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

About 80 percent of patients recovering from a first heart attack have unstable plaque some distance from the blockages, indicating vulnerability to more heart problems, the study finds.

Researchers believe this is the first study to use high-resolution pictures available with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) to get three-dimensional (3-D) pictures of the inside the three major coronary arteries during the month following a major event.

After an acute coronary syndrome event such as a heart attack or severe chest pain, there is a high risk of another episode within the year. Previous research has documented a surge in the plaque buildup in the inner lining of arteries (atherosclerosis) after such an event.

This study confirms the notion of overall coronary instability known as "pancoronaritis." "We were very surprised to find that almost four out of five patients present one or more ruptured atherosclerotic plaques besides the culprit lesion," says lead author Gilles Rioufol, M.D., Ph.D, an associate professor in the hemodynamics department of the Cardiologic Hospital, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France. "We were even more surprised to see that these distinct ruptured plaques involved all three main coronary trunks.

In fact, for one in eight patients all three main arteries were affected."

These findings also support the hypothesis that inflammation plays a role in heart disease events, says Rioufol.

Atherosclerosis is a progressive condition that develops over many years. Stable plaque that remains in place tends not to cause a heart attack. When the plaque becomes unstable and ruptures, the body responds to that injury with inflammation, which includes forming blood clots to repair the injury. These clots block the artery and cause a heart attack. Plaque rupture or erosion is a prime cause of heart attack and might itself be triggered by inflammation.

Previous researchers had noted accelerated atherosclerosis even when angioplasty was performed. Angioplasty involves inserting a balloon-tipped catheter into the vessel and inflating the balloon to reopen the channel.

In the current study, Rioufol's team visualized 3-D images of 72 arteries in 24 patients referred for angioplasty. IVUS is a 10-minute test in which a tiny ultrasound probe is threaded into a coronary artery during routine coronary angiography.

They found that 19 of the patients (79 percent) had at least one plaque rupture elsewhere than the culprit lesion. Nearly 71 percent of the patients had at least one diagnosed plaque rupture in two of the three arteries; 12.5 percent had at least one rupture in all three arteries. The non-culprit lesions tended to be smaller and less severe.

"At the time of acute coronary syndrome, usually one lesion is clinically active but the entire atherosclerotic coronary tree is destabilized," Rioufol says.

These findings may lead to new screening tools or treatments.

An accompanying editorial says the ability to diagnose vulnerable lesions before they rupture would have "tremendous potential" for heart attack prevention. IVUS and other invasive and noninvasive techniques could allow doctors to assess individual plaques and overall plaque condition.

The editorial writers caution however that the study was limited by the small number of patients studied and the lack of a control group.

Co-authors include: G. Finet, M.D., P.hD.; I. Ginon, M.D.; X. Andre-Fouet, M.D.; R. Rossi, M.D.; E. Vialle, M.D.; E. Desjoyaux, M.D.; G. Convert, M.D.; J.F. Huret, M.D.; and A. Tabib, M.D., Ph.D.

The editorial was written by Paul Schoenhagen, M.D., E. Murat Tuzcu, M.D., and Stephen G. Ellis, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "More Fallout From Plaque Ruptures In Store For Heart Attack Survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020724081223.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2002, July 24). More Fallout From Plaque Ruptures In Store For Heart Attack Survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020724081223.htm
American Heart Association. "More Fallout From Plaque Ruptures In Store For Heart Attack Survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020724081223.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins