Inflammatory cell infiltrates in the heart of patients with coronary artery disease with and without inflammatory rheumatic disease: A biopsy study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonArthritis Res Ther . 2016 Oct 12;18(1):232. 10.1186/s13075-016-1136-5
Background The cause of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) in inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRDs) has not been fully elucidated. As inflammation may play a role, we wanted to compare the occurrence and extent of inflammatory cell infiltrates (ICIs), small vessel vasculitis, and the amount of adipose tissue and collagen in cardiac biopsies taken from patients with coronary artery disease with and without IRDs. Methods From among the Feiring Heart Biopsy Study subjects, we selected patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting from whom paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed specimens from the right atrium were available. The sample comprised 48 patients with IRD and 40 non-IRD patients. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was used to examine the presence and location of ICIs and vasculitis, and Lendrum (Martius yellow, scarlet, and blue) staining was carried out for collagen and adipose tissue. Results Epicardial ICIs were found in 27 (56 %) patients with IRD and 24 (60 %) non-IRD patients. There were no significant differences between patients with IRD and non-IRD patients in the amount of cardiac ICIs and adipose tissue, but patients with IRD had more collagen in the myocardium than non-IRD patients. Small vessel vasculitis was not observed in any cardiac specimen. Patients with epicardial ICIs were, on average, 7 years younger than those without. Conclusions Our results do not support the notion that inflammation in cardiac peri-, epi-, and myocardium plays a more important role in CVD of patients with IRD than non-IRD patients. The increased amount of collagen in the myocardium of patients with IRD suggests differences in extracellular matrix composition and/or mass, which might play a role in cardiac remodeling, and represent targets for novel therapies against heart failure.