Systemic Arterial Hypertension and Coronary Atherosclerosis
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To determine the importance of systemic arterial hypertension (SAH) in the pathogenesis of coronary atherosclerosis (CA), the coronary stenosis (CSI), coronary diffuse atheromatous (CDAI) and coronary tortuosity (CTI) indices were assessed by selective coronary angiography (SCA) in 132 survivors of a definite first myocardial infarction (MI). Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the absence (group A, n=60 ) or presence (group B, n=72) of SAH. Group B was further subdivided into 2 subgroups: group B1, consisting of 62 patients receiving no antihypertensive treatment before admission, and group B2, consisting of 20 patients treated continuously for at least 2 years with a diuretic or diuretic + β-blocker.
There were no differences in age, topography of MI, serum total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, prevalence of diabetes mellitus or smoking habits, CSI and CTI among the groups or subgroups of patients. Group B had a higher CTI (7.2 ± 2.8) than Group A (2.7 ± 2.3, p ≤ 0.001). None of the above indices were statistically different between subgroups B1 and B2.
Surprisingly, the degree and extent of CA assessed by CSI and CDAI were similar in this population, regardless of the presence or absence of SAH and whether or not patients were treated with a diuretic. Although hypertension was related to tortuosity of the coronary arteries, which does not have a strong role in the development of CA, it is possible that the hypertensive process is relevant to the installation of atheromatous disease but not to its progression. Further studies are needed to clarify this point.
KeywordsCoronary Atherosclerosis Coronary Stenosis Chlorthalidone Aneurysmal Dilatation Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial
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