Platelet aggregation in partially obstructed vessels and its elimination with aspirin.
In 35 open chest anesthetized dogs coronary and aortic blood flow were measured with electromagnetic flowmeters while aortic and distal coronary blood pressure and an epicardial ECG were recorded. A fixed amount of stenosis (60-80%) was produced in the coronary artery by an externally applied plastic cylinder. In 24 of the 35 dogs the coronary blood flow showed cyclical reductions to near zero, with a sudden spontaneous return to near control levels. During reduced flow the epicardial ECG showed ST-segment depression suggestive of ischemia, and ventricular premature beats were often noted. Six animals died acutely during episodes of reduced flow. After 35 mg/kg of aspirin were given intravenously the cyclical reductions in coronary blood flow were abolished and the in vitro platelet aggregations were reduced from a control of 62.1 +/- 15 units (Born technique) to an average of 23.7 +/- 12 units. Histologic sections of the narrowed coronary artery obtained when coronary flow was reduced show an amorphous mass in the lumen which was thought to be a platelet aggregate. Perhaps a similar process of platelet aggregation occurs in the stenosed coronary arteries in man, producing acute coronary obstruction, ischemia, and sudden death.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association