Thromboxane A2 exerts powerful effects on vascular smooth muscle tone and platelet aggregability. Previous studies have demonstrated increases in transcardiac thromboxane B2 (a stable thromboxane A2 metabolite) in patients with unstable angina and recent chest pain. To determine whether these increases in transcardiac thromboxane B2 are unique to the unstable anginal syndrome or are merely a consequence of ongoing myocardial ischemia, simultaneous ascending aortic and coronary sinus blood samples were obtained for quantitation of thromboxane B2 in 52 patients with a history of chest pain. Provocation was performed with (1) rapid cardiac pacing in 23 patients, (2) cold pressor stress in 19 patients, and (3) sustained isometric exertion in 10 patients. Of the 52 patients, only 5 had a substantial (>3-fold) increase in coronary sinus thromboxane B2 in response to provocation: 1 had unstable angina and chest pain during the previous 48 hours and 4 had a myocardial infarction within the previous 6 weeks. Similarly, only 7 had a >3-fold increase in the coronary sinus/aortic thromboxane B2 ratio in response to provocation: 1 had unstable angina and recent chest pain, 5 had a recent myocardial infarction, and 1 had both of these. There were no other clinical features unique to these patients. The remaining patients with similar diagnoses did not develop a marked increase in coronary sinus thromboxane B2 or the coronary sinus/aortic thromboxane B2 ratio with provocation. None of the 35 patients with stable ischemic heart disease or nonischemic chest pain syndromes had a substantial increase in coronary sinus thromboxane B2 or the coronary sinus/aortic thromboxane B2 ratio (p<0.001 for both coronary sinus thromboxane B2 and the coronary sinus/aortic thromboxane B2 ratio in comparison with the 17 patients with recent unstable angina or myocardial infarction). Thus, generous amounts of thromboxane B2 are released into the coronary circulation after provocation in some patients with unstable angina or recent myocardial infarction but not in those with stable ischemic heart disease or nonischemic chest pain syndromes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine