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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1991 Jan;17(1):79-86.

Coronary arterial remodeling studied by high-frequency epicardial echocardiography: an early compensatory mechanism in patients with obstructive coronary atherosclerosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City.


Coronary arterial remodeling is a compensatory mechanism that may limit the adverse effects of coronary obstructive lesions by expansion of the entire vascular segment. To determine if this compensatory anatomic change occurs in patients, high-frequency epicardial echocardiography using a 12 MHz transducer was performed during open heart surgery in 33 patients (10 with normal coronary arteries undergoing valvular surgery and 23 with coronary atherosclerosis). From stop-frame videotape high-frequency epicardial echocardiographic images, cross-sectional measurements of luminal area and total arterial area (lumen, intima, media and dense adventitia) were made in the patients with atherosclerosis at the site of arterial lesions and from the most proximal portion of the same artery. Remodeling was defined as enlargement of the total arterial area. In normal arteries measurements were made from proximal and midarterial locations. In the patients with normal coronary arteries, total arterial area, as determined by high-frequency echocardiography, decreased from the proximal site to the midportion of the artery (from 10.4 +/- 0.9 to 8.4 +/- 1.0 mm2, p less than 0.05); luminal area also decreased (from 6.0 +/- 0.6 to 4.5 +/- 0.7 mm2, p less than 0.05). In patients with coronary arterial lesions, luminal area also decreased from the proximal site to the arterial lesion site (from 5.3 +/- 0.6 to 2.3 +/- 0.3 mm2, p less than 0.05), but total arterial area increased (from 11.6 +/- 1.0 to 13.0 +/- 1.0 mm2, p less than 0.05). Of the 25 coronary arteries evaluated, only 4 had angiographic evidence of coronary collateral formation. These data indicate that coronary arterial remodeling is an important compensatory mechanism in obstructive coronary disease.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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