Abstract 9574: Enhanced Rho-kinase Activity in Circulating Neutrophils of Patients with Vasospastic Angina after the Great East Japan Earthquake
Purpose: We have recently demonstrated that Rho-kinase activity in circulating neutrophils is a useful biomarker for diagnosis and disease activity assessment of vasospastic angina (VSA). Coronary vasospastic activity is known to be enhanced under stressful conditions. On March 11, 2011, we experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake in our Tohoku area. In this study, we thus examined whether Rho-kinase activity was increased in VSA patients after the Earthquake.
Methods: In 11 patients with proven VSA (M/F 8/3, 62±11 yrs), we were able to measure Rho-kinase activity in circulating neutrophils at 3 time points, before and 6 and 12 months after the Earthquake. Rho-kinase activity was defined by the ratio of phosphorylated form/total form of myosin-binding subunit (MBS), a substrate of Rho-kinase. We also quantitatively examined the extent of mental stress by the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) questionnaire.
Results: In the VSA patients, Rho-kinase activity was significantly increased at 6 months after the Earthquake despite the continued medical treatment with calcium channel blockers, which was returned to baseline level at 12 months (0.99±0.34 at baseline, 1.71±0.23 at 6 months, and 0.90±0.34 at 12 months) (Figure). Among the 11 patients, 3 patients were directly hit by the Tsunami, who complained increased frequency of angina attacks and the use of sublingual nitroglycerin after the Earthquake. Importantly, in those 3 patients, as compared with the remaining 8 patients without direct tsunami hit or changes in symptoms, both PTSD score (32±7 vs. 5±8, P=0.01) and the changes in Rho-kinase activity at 6 months from the baseline (268±232% vs. 55±40%, P<0.05) were significantly higher. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between the Rho-kinase activity changes and the PTSD score (r= 0.67, P<0.05).
Conclusions:These results indicate that Rho-kinase activity of VSA patients was transiently enhanced by the disaster-related mental stress.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.