Abstract 803: Diesel Exhaust Inhalation Enhances Thrombus Formation In Man
Background: Transient exposure to traffic-derived air pollution may be a trigger for acute myocardial infarction although the mechanism is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of diesel exhaust inhalation on thrombus formation in man using an ex vivo model of thrombosis.
Methods and Results: In a double-blind randomized cross-over study, 20 healthy volunteers were exposed to diluted diesel exhaust (300 μg/m3) or filtered air during intermittent exercise for 1 or 2 hours. Thrombus formation, coagulation, platelet activation and inflammatory markers were measured at 2 and 6 hours after exposure. Thrombus formation was measured using the Badimon ex vivo perfusion chamber at low (212 /s) and high (1,690 /s) shear rates with porcine aortic tunica media as the thrombogenic substrate. Specimens were fixed, stained and thrombus area measured using computerized planimetry. Compared to filtered air, diesel exhaust increased thrombus formation in the low and high shear chambers by 24.2% (p<0.001) and 19.1% (p<0.001) respectively. This increased thrombogenicity was seen at two and six hours, and using two different types of diesel exposure. Although there were no effects on coagulation variables, diesel exhaust inhalation increased platelet-neutrophil (6.5% to 9.2%; P<0.05) and platelet-monocyte (21.0% to 25.0%; P<0.05) aggregates 2 hours following exposure.
Conclusions: Inhalation of diesel exhaust increases ex vivo thrombus formation and causes platelet activation in man. These findings provide a potential mechanism that links exposure to traffic-derived air pollution with acute atherothrombotic events including acute myocardial infarction.