Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
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ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2016, vol. 25, nr 6, November-December, p. 1199–1205

doi: 10.17219/acem/63753

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Myocardial Ischaemia, Coronary Atherosclerosis and Pulmonary Pressure Elevation in Antiphospholipid Syndrome Patients

Agnieszka Padjas1,A,B,D,F, Wojciech Płazak2,B,C,D,F, Magdalena Celińska-Lowenhoff1,B, Adam Mazurek2,B, Carlo Perricone3,E, Piotr Podolec2,E, Jacek Musiał1,A,E,F

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland

2 Department of Cardiac and Vascular Diseases, John Paul II Hospital, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland

3 Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy


Background. Thrombotic events in antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) involve venous and arterial circulation with the possible involvement of coronary or pulmonary microcirculation.
Objectives. To evaluate the influence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) and on myocardial ischaemia assessed by single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT), coronary atherosclerosis assessed by multidetector computerized tomography (MDCT) and pulmonary pressure assessed by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in patients with primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS).
Material and Methods. TTE, SPECT (Tc 99m sestamibi) and MDCT-based coronary calcium scoring were performed in 26 consecutive PAPS patients (20 females, 6 males, aged 20−61, mean 39.7) without any signs of other autoimmunological disease and without clinical symptoms of heart disease.
Results. Out of 26 patients, TEE showed normal left and right ventricle function in 25 (96.2%) and elevated (≥ 30 mm Hg) right ventricle systolic pressure in 7 (26.9%) patients. SPECT revealed myocardial perfusion defects in 15 (57.7%) patients: exercise-induced in 6 (23.1%) and persistent in 11 (42.3%). MDCT revealed coronary calcifications in 4 (15.4%) patients. The number of plaques ranged from 1 to 11 (median 2), volume 3−201.7 mm³ (median 7), calcium scores 1.3–202.6 (median 5.7). In the group with perfusion defects or coronary calcifications (n = 15), all the patients showed elevated aCL IgG.
Conclusion. In most of the relatively young APS patients, without any symptoms of ischemic heart disease, SPECT showed myocardial perfusion defects, and coronary calcifications in 1/6 of them. Right ventricle systolic pressure was elevated in 1/4 of APS patients. These pathologies, well known as cardiovascular risk markers, were associated with elevated levels of the IgG class of both anti-cardiolipin and antiB2 GPI antibodies. Thus, in a high percentage of APS patients, clinically silent myocardial ischaemia, pulmonary pressure elevation and coronary atherosclerosis are present and related to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies.

Key words

antiphospholipid syndrome, anti-cardiolipin antibodies, anti-beta 2 glycoprotein I antibodies, pulmonary arterial pressure, myocardial ischaemia

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