ABSTRACT: The pathogenic role of Chlamydia pneumoniae in late coronary bypass graft failure has not yet been extensively investigated. We examined failed and new arterial/venous bypass grafts using immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serology. Thirty-four long-term failed grafts and 28 new grafts were examined in 21 patients undergoing redo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Immunohistochemically, 28 (82%) failed grafts were positive in the intimal-medial compartment, and 33 grafts (97%) were positive for C. pneumoniae in the adventitia. Thirteen (46%) and 27 (96%) new grafts showed infection in the intima-media and in the adventitia, respectively (p < 0.05). Immunohistochemically, the overall presence of C. pneumoniae in all vessels examined was 66% in the intima-media and 97% in the adventitia (p < 0.05). C. pneumoniae was detected by PCR in 19 (31%) of all the vessels examined. C. pneumoniae seems to be frequently present in grafts of patients considered for redo CABG in Hungary. The adventitia of both failed, and new grafts particularly often contained C. pneumoniae. The results suggest that there exists an adventitial baseline infection from which infection of the inner wall layers develops, depending on local microenvironmental conditions. This is the first study to evaluate chlamydial infection in arterial/venous coronary grafts by immunohistochemistry, PCR, and serology.
Pathology - Research and Practice 02/2004; 200(9):609-18. · 1.21 Impact Factor