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    ABSTRACT: Monocyte-platelet aggregates (MPA) are increased in patients with acute coronary syndrome. We investigated whether MPA are associated with the presence of functionally significant coronary stenoses or with coronary arterial endothelial dysfunction. One hundred forty five patients undergoing elective coronary angiography were prospectively enrolled. Functional significance of coronary stenosis was assessed by fractional flow reserve (FFR). Thirty randomly selected patients underwent pacing protocol to evaluate Coronary endothelium-dependent vasomotor function (CVF). Whole blood was drawn to evaluate MPA. In patients with FFR ≤ 0.8 (FFRpos, n = 75), MPA did not significantly differ from FFR >0.8 patients (FFRneg, n = 70) (38.1 % [25.7-56.6] vs 34.0 % [20.5-49.9], p = 0.08). CVF was similar in FFRpos and FFRneg patients (percent vessel diameter change, %VDC = 7.19 % [6.01-10.9] vs 8.0 % [0.81-9.80], p = 0.78). Yet, patients with abnormal CVF showed higher MPA as compared to patients with preserved CVF (28.3 % [28.8-53.4] vs 20.5 % [17.0-32.9], p = 0.01). Moreover, MPA was inversely correlated with %VDC (R (2) = 0.26, p < 0.01). MPA levels are significantly higher in patients with abnormal coronary vasomotor function regardless of the presence of functionally significant coronary stenosis.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose was to compare 3-dimensional quantitative coronary angiography (3D-QCA) with optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the functional assessment of nonobstructive coronary stenoses, as evaluated by fractional flow reserve (FFR). Fifty-five nonobstructive coronary stenoses (30%-50% diameter stenosis by visual estimation) were assessed in 36 patients using FFR, 2-dimensional QCA (2D-QCA), 3D-QCA, and OCT. Angiographic stenosis severity by 2D-QCA was 34% ± 13% diameter stenosis, and minimal lumen diameter (MLD) was 1.77 ± 0.58 mm. Fractional flow reserve values were 0.85 ± 0.10. Correlation coefficients between FFR and MLD or minimal lumen area (MLA) were highly significant for both 2D- and 3D-QCA (all P < .001), but higher R(2) values were observed for 3D-QCA measurements. Although significant, correlation coefficients between OCT and FFR data were weak (R(2) = 0.28, P = .001 for MLD and R(2) = 0.23, P = .003 for MLA). Correlation coefficients with FFR were significantly higher for 3D-QCA than for OCT (P values for MLD and MLA = .043 and .042, respectively). Nonobstructive stenoses with MLD >1.53 mm or MLA >2.43 mm(2) are unlikely to be hemodynamically significant. In nonobstructive coronary stenoses, anatomical parameters derived from 3D-QCA can best identify lesions with preserved FFR values.
    American heart journal 12/2013; 166(6):1010-1018.e1.
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    ABSTRACT: Haemodialysis patients suffer from accelerated vascular calcification. The vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla protein (MGP) is one of the most powerful inhibitors of vascular calcification. Haemodialysis patients have high levels of the inactive form of MGP (desphosphorylated-uncarboxylated-MGP, dp-uc-MGP) and may benefit from pharmacological doses of vitamin K2 (menaquinone) to improve the calcification inhibitory activity of MGP. To determine the optimal dose of menaquinone-7 (MK-7) for MGP activation, 200 chronic haemodialysis patients were recruited to randomly receive 360, 720 or 1080 µg of MK-7 thrice weekly for 8 weeks. Dp-uc-MGP was measured at baseline and after 8 weeks. Dietary intake of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and menaquinone was estimated based on a detailed questionnaire. At baseline, dp-uc-MGP was not associated with phylloquinone intake (P = 0.92), but correlated inversely with menaquinone intake (P = 0.023). MK-7 supplementation dose dependently reduced dp-uc-MGP. The levels decreased by 17, 33 and 46% in the respective groups. Drop-outs were mainly due to gastrointestinal side-effects related to the unpleasant smell of the tablets. Chronic haemodialysis patients have high levels of inactive MGP, possibly related to a low dietary vitamin K intake. Pharmacological doses of MK-7 dose-dependently reduce dp-uc-MGP. Menaquinone supplementation may be a novel approach to prevent vascular calcifications in chronic haemodialysis patients.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 11/2013;

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