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: Town 'sealed off' after man dies of plague in China (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kingston, Jamaica hybrid project to harness sun and wind

5 hours ago

A hybrid energy project in Kingston, Jamaica, aims to satisfy the need for money-saving renewable energy. U.S.-based WindStream Technologies recently announced the wind solar hybrid installation commissioned ...

Archaeologists excavate NY Colonial battleground

5 hours ago

Archaeologists are excavating an 18th-century battleground in upstate New York that was the site of a desperate stand by Colonial American troops, the flashpoint of an infamous massacre and the location of the era's largest ...

Google eyes Chrome on Windows laptop battery drain

13 hours ago

Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows has been said to have a problem for some time but this week comes news that Google will give it the attention others think the problem quite deserves. Namely, Google is to ...

Security contest techies say they hacked Tesla Model S

15 hours ago

The good news: Tomorrow's cars are computers on wheels. The bad news: Tomorrow's cars are computers on wheels. Ma Jie, writing in Bloomberg News, reported this week that the Tesla Model S sedan was the target ...

Water problems lead to riots, deaths in South Africa

16 hours ago

Three babies who died from drinking tap water contaminated by sewage have become a tragic symbol of South Africa's struggle to cope with a flood of people into cities designed under apartheid to cater to ...

Recommended for you

Meningitis diagnosis prompted W.Va. clinic probe

2 hours ago

A health official says an investigation that found syringes were being reused at a West Virginia pain management clinic was triggered by patient who developed bacterial meningitis.

California firm issues nationwide fruit recall

6 hours ago

A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.

User comments : 0