Fibrinopeptide A is released into the coronary circulation after coronary spasm.
To examine whether acute myocardial ischemia activates the coagulation system and platelet activation in the coronary circulation, we measured plasma levels of fibrinopeptide A and beta-thromboglobulin in the coronary sinus and the aortic root simultaneously in 15 patients with coronary spastic angina before and after the left coronary spasm induced by intracoronary injection of acetylcholine and in 15 patients with stable exertional angina before and after acute myocardial ischemia induced by rapid atrial pacing. Fifteen patients with chest pain but normal coronary arteries and no coronary spasm served as controls. The coronary sinus-arterial difference of fibrinopeptide A increased markedly (p less than 0.001) from 0.1 +/- 0.2 to 4.3 +/- 0.7 ng/ml after the anginal attacks in the coronary spastic angina group. However, fibrinopeptide A levels remained unchanged after the attacks in the stable exertional angina group and after intracoronary injection of acetylcholine in the control group. Plasma beta-thromboglobulin levels remained unchanged after the attacks in both patient groups and after acetylcholine in the control group. Our data indicate that coronary spasm induces thrombin generation and may lead to thrombus formation in the coronary artery involved, but pacing-induced ischemia does not activate the coagulation system.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association