Scanning Microscopy


Selective coronary angiography is one of the procedures used frequently in the diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease. Macaca fascicularis monkeys were used to study the effects of coronary angiography on coronary artery surface morphology. Fourteen M. fascicularis were fed either an atherogenic diet (0.34 mg of cholesterol/kcal and 40 to 43% of the calories as fat) for six to nine months or a control diet. For six of these animals the Judkin method of selective left coronary angiography was done 24 h prior to necropsy. The ascending aorta, right coronary artery, left circumflex (LCX), left anterior descending (LAD) and left main (LM) coronary arteries were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The animals fed an atherogenic diet had 27% of the ascending aorta and 7% of the coronary arteries covered with raised lesions. The surface of these coronary arteries differed from those of animals fed a control diet in that the surface appeared smoother and often had numerous adherent leukocytes. The animals undergoing coronary angiography had 25% of the ascending aorta and 10% of the LM surface injured by the catheter. These areas were denuded of endothelium and covered with adherent platelets. There were no morphologic changes observed by SEM following angiography within the LCX or LAD arteries. Thus even in a setting of hypercholesterolemia exposure to contrast media during the coronary angiography procedure did not lead to surface alterations.

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