Lege Artis Medicinae

[Chlamydia pneumoniae in coronary arteries of young adults]

HORTOVÁNYI Eszter, ILLYÉS György, GLASZ Tibor, KULKA Janina, KÁDÁR Anna

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2001;11(08-09)

[INTRODUCTION - An association of Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) with coronary heart disease has been found with seroepidemiological methods. This organism was demonstrated in atheromatous plaques by electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction. MATERIAL AND METHODS - To better understand the significance of the presence of C. pneumoniae in atheromatous plaques, we examined coronary artery segments from young adults (15-34 years) with and without atherosclerosis. 74 samples of left anterior descending artery were examined immunohistochemically for the presence of C. pneumoniae by the monoclonal antibody RR402. RESULTS - C. pneumoniae was identified in the atheroma in 11 of 17 cases (65%) and in preatheroma in 6 of 15 cases (40%), in fatty streak in 7 of 23 cases (30%) and in intimal thickening in 1 of 14 cases (7%). C. pneumoniae was not found in the intimal and medial layer of the normal-appearing coronary arteries. C. pneumoniae was detected in the adventitia in 51 cases (67%) of the coronary arteries: in the normal arteries and initial lesions in 27 of 42 cases (63%), and in the advanced lesions in 24 of 32 cases (75%). Correlation was observed between the C. pneumoniae positive cases and cigarette smoking. CONCLUSION - Our results suggest that C. pneumoniae may relate to the severity of atherosclerosis in the youth, thus may initiate atherosclerotic injury or facilitate its progression along with other risk factors.]

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