Damage inflicted during cardiac attacks more widespread

Nov 11, 2008

Cholesterol crystals released in the bloodstream during a cardiac attack or stroke can damage artery linings much further away from the site of the attack, leaving survivors at greater risk than previously thought.

George Abela, a physician in Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine and chief of the Department of Medicine's cardiology section, is leading innovative research into the role that the crystallization and expansion of cholesterol play in heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events in humans.

He presented his latest research this week at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in New Orleans.

In recent medical trials, Abela and his team of researchers tested carotid arteries in a laboratory by injecting cholesterol crystals into them.

"Cholesterol has been shown to expand when crystallizing and then be released into the circulation following a cardiac event," Abela said. "We found that the flow of sharp-ended crystals in arteries damage the lining of arteries and decrease the ability of arteries to dilate properly at intervals far away from the site of the attack."

Abela compared the process to a tree, with the trunk as the site of the cardiac event and the branches representing arteries where damage is afflicted far away from the trunk.

"These findings have important clinical implications," Abela said. "We found the original injury was being transmitted downstream. We may need to expand the testing that we have patients undergo to make sure more damage is not being done during a cardiac attack or stroke."

The American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions annual meeting is the premier cardiovascular research and instructional meeting in the world, drawing nearly 20,000 doctors, researchers and cardiac professionals.

Source: Michigan State University

Explore further: Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

18 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.