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Table of Contents
Vol. 27, No. 2, 2009
Issue release date: February 2009
Section title: Original Paper
Cerebrovasc Dis 2009;27:193–200
(DOI:10.1159/000189204)

Human Carotid Plaque Calcification and Vulnerability

Relationship between Degree of Plaque Calcification, Fibrous Cap Inflammatory Gene Expression and Symptomatology

Wahlgren C.-M. · Zheng W. · Shaalan W. · Tang J. · Bassiouny H.S.
Section of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: January 14, 2008
Accepted: April 28, 2008
Published online: January 09, 2009
Issue release date: February 2009

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 6
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 1015-9770 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9786 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CED

Abstract

Background: Inflammation is a key mechanism in human atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability and disruption. The objective was to determine the differential gene expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory factors in the fibrous cap and shoulder region of noncalcified and calcified carotid endarterectomy plaques. Methods: Thirty carotid endarterectomy plaques were classified as type Va (noncalcified, n = 15) and type Vb (calcified, n = 15) in accordance with the American Heart Association consensus. Using laser capture microdissection, fibrous cap and shoulder regions were excisedfrom frozen sections. Gene expression of pro- [interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1)] and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) factors, and bone formation (bone morphogenetic protein 6 and osteocalcin) mediators were quantitated by real-time PCR. Protein levels were determined using Western blotting. Results: Mean percent carotid stenosis and calcification area were 79 and 5% in Va-plaques (40% symptomatic) and 77 and 42% in Vb-plaques (20% symptomatic). Macrophages infiltrating the region of the fibrous cap and the shoulder were more numerous in non-calcified plaques compared with calcified plaques (p < 0.01]. mRNA expression of MCP-1 and IL-8, and protein levels of IL-8 were also greater in Va plaques compared to Vb plaques (p < 0.05). Protein levels and mRNA expression of osteocalcin were greater in Vb compared to Va plaques (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Fibrous cap inflammation is more likely to occur in noncalcified than in calcified plaques. These findings suggest that carotid atherosclerotic plaque calcification is a structural marker of plaque stability.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: January 14, 2008
Accepted: April 28, 2008
Published online: January 09, 2009
Issue release date: February 2009

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 6
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 1015-9770 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9786 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CED


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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