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Int Heart J. 2009 May;50(3):267-77.

Eosinophils may be involved in thrombus growth in acute coronary syndrome.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Thrombus aspiration therapy allows for the examination of thrombus and atheroma fragments in acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Inflammatory cells and platelet activation play key roles in thrombus formation in ACS. However, histopathologic evaluation of thrombi in ACS has not been adequately addressed. We performed histologic analysis of tissue samples obtained by thrombus aspiration therapy. We studied 165 samples from patients with ACS. The area of each sample, percentage of red thrombus, and percentage of white thrombus were measured. Samples were stained immunohistochemically with antibodies against macrophages, activated platelets, and interleukin (IL)-5. Seventy-six samples included atheroma fragments. Macrophages, neutrophils, and activated platelets were observed in thrombi and in atheroma fragments. Eosinophil infiltration was also observed predominantly in the area between white thrombus and red thrombus in 106 samples. We categorized all samples into 3 groups according to the grade of eosinophil infiltration (eos-, eos+, eos++ group). Sample area in the eos++ group was greater than that in the eos- group (P < 0.0001). In addition, the percentage of the red thrombus areas in the eos++ group and the eos+ group was greater than that in the eos- group (P < 0.009, P < 0.02, respectively). However, there was no difference in the percentage of white thrombus area between the 3 groups. Staining for IL-5 was identified in inflammatory cells within thrombi. Eosinophils may play an important role in coronary occlusion by promoting thrombus growth.

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