Journal Article

Plasma levels and vascular effects of endothelin and big endothelin in patients with stable and unstable angina pectoris undergoing coronary bypass grafting

Ulf Lockowandt, Staffan Bjessmo, Torbjörn Ivert and Anders Franco-Cereceda

in European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Published on behalf of European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Volume 21, issue 2, pages 218-223
Published in print February 2002 | ISSN: 1010-7940
Published online February 2002 | e-ISSN: 1873-734X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1010-7940(01)01119-8
Plasma levels and vascular effects of endothelin and big endothelin in patients with stable and unstable angina pectoris undergoing coronary bypass grafting

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  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Cardiovascular Medicine

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the plasma and pericardial levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and its precursor big endothelin-1 (Big ET-1) in patients with unstable and stable angina prior to and following coronary bypass surgery. To further investigate the content of ET-1, tissue levels were studied in the internal mammary artery (IMA) in patients with stable and unstable angina pectoris. Finally, the difference in reactivity of the IMA to ET-1 and Big ET-1 in stable and unstable patients was evaluated. Methods: Plasma and pericardial levels of ET-1 and Big ET-1 were determined with radioimmunoassay in 81 patients (33 unstable) immediately before coronary bypass surgery, and at 6, 14, 40 and 64 h following the procedure. Specimens of the distal IMA from 12 patients (six unstable) were collected at the beginning of surgery for determination of tissue levels of ET-1. Additionally, distal internal mammary arteries were obtained from another 24 patients (12 unstable). These vessels were mounted in organ baths for functional studies on vascular reactivity to ET-1 and Big ET-1. Results: The peripheral plasma levels of ET-1 in unstable patients were significantly lower in patients with unstable angina compared with patients with stable angina pectoris at all points of measurement. The levels of Big ET-1 were significantly higher pre-operatively in the unstable group, but decreased to similar levels to those of stable patients following coronary bypass grafting. There was no difference in ET-1 tissue content in the IMA between the patients. ET-1 and Big ET-1 caused an endothelinA (ETA)-receptor blocker sensitive, concentration-dependent contraction of the IMA obtained from stable as well as unstable patients. Conclusions: It is concluded that unstable angina pectoris is associated with an increased ET-1 turnover. This increased turnover may participate in the local regulation of coronary vascular tone with subsequent influence of the condition of the patients. The present investigation also implies that ETA-blockade may be useful as an additional pharmacological principal in the treatment of unstable angina pectoris prior to revascularization, as well as to prevent post-operative arterial graft spasm.

Keywords: Unstable angina pectoris; Coronary artery bypass grafting; Endothelin; Internal mammary artery

Journal Article.  3136 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics ; Cardiovascular Medicine

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