AimsCoronary collateral arteries (CCA) reduce cardiovascular events. We tested the hypothesis that new microvessels that proliferate in early atherosclerosis may be associated with myocardial protection during acute subtotal coronary artery obstruction (CAO).Methods and resultsAcute left anterior descending CAO was induced by a balloon catheter in pigs after 12 weeks of high-cholesterol (HC) diet, renovascular hypertension (HTN), or normal control. Cardiac structure, myocardial perfusion, and functional response to iv adenosine and CAO were studied in vivo using electron beam computed tomography (CT). The intra-myocardial microvessels were subsequently evaluated ex vivo using micro-CT, and myocardial expression of growth factors using immunoblotting. Basal myocardial perfusion and microvascular permeability were similar among the groups, whereas their responses to adenosine were attenuated in HC and HTN. A significant decline in myocardial perfusion in normal pigs during acute CAO was attenuated in HC and abolished in HTN. CAO also elicited an increase in normal anterior wall microvascular permeability (+202 ± 59, P < 0.05), which was attenuated in HC and HTN (+55 ± 9 and +31 ± 8, respectively, P < 0.05 vs. normal). Microvascular (<200 m) spatial density was significantly elevated in HC and HTN, accompanied by increased myocardial growth factor expression.ConclusionThis study demonstrates that early exposure to the cardiovascular risk factors HC and HTN protects the heart from decreases in myocardial perfusion during acute subtotal CAO. This protective effect is associated with and potentially mediated by pre-emptive development of intra-myocardial microvessels that might serve as recruitable CCA.
- Coronary collateral circulation
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)