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Coronary artery disease: arterial remodelling and clinical presentation
  1. P C Smitsa,
  2. G Pasterkampa,
  3. M A Quarles van Uffordb,
  4. F D Eeftinga,
  5. P R Stellaa,
  6. P P T de Jaegerea,
  7. C Borsta
  1. aDepartment of Cardiology, Heart Lung Institute, University Hospital Utrecht, Netherlands, bDepartment of Cardiology, Thorax Center—Ignatius Hospital Breda, Netherlands
  1. Dr P C Smits, Department of Interventional Cardiology, Heart Center Rotterdam, location Thoraxcenter, University Hospital Rotterdam, Dr Molenwaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, Netherlands. email:smits{at}


OBJECTIVE To investigate the hypothesis that in coronary artery disease large plaques in compensatorily enlarged segments are associated with acute coronary syndromes, whereas smaller plaques in shrunken segments are associated with stable angina pectoris.

METHODS Patients selected for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) were divided into two groups, one with stable angina pectoris (stable group, n = 37) and one with unstable angina or postmyocardial infarction angina of the infarct related artery (unstable group, n = 32). In both groups, remodelling at the culprit lesion site was determined by intravascular ultrasound before the intervention. Remodelling was calculated as relative vessel area: [vessel area culprit lesion site ÷ mean vessel area of both proximal and distal reference sites] × 100%. Compensatory enlargement was defined as remodelling of ⩾ 105%, whereas shrinkage was defined as remodelling of ⩽ 95%.

RESULTS In the unstable group, the vessel area at the culprit lesion site was larger than in the stable group, at mean (SD) 18.1 (5.3)v 14.6 (5.4) mm2 (p = 0.008). Lumen areas were similar. Consequently, plaque area and percentage remodelling were larger in the unstable group than in the stable group: mean (SD) 14.8 (4.8) v 11.6 (4.9) mm2 (p = 0.009) and 112 (31)%v 95 (17)% (p = 0.005), respectively. Significantly more culprit lesion sites were classified as shrunken in the stable group (21/37) than in the unstable group (8/32; p = 0.014). On the other hand, more lesion sites were classified as enlarged in the unstable group (16/23) than in the stable group (8/37; p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS In patients selected for PTCA, the mode of remodelling is related to clinical presentation.

  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary disease
  • remodelling
  • intravascular ultrasound

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