The thrombotic response of atherosclerotic arteries to stenosis and injury was studied in 14 pigs, eight normal and six with von Willebrand's disease (vWD). Atherosclerosis was produced by feeding a 1% to 2% cholesterol diet for 24 weeks. Both groups of pigs developed severe hypercholesterolemia, greater than five times baseline values. Coronary atherosclerosis was detected in all vWD pigs and in all but one normal pig and was not significantly different between groups. At sacrifice under general anesthesia, a Goldblatt clamp (GC) was positioned around the left anterior descending coronary (LAD) and carotid arteries to produce a stenotic segment, which was pinch-injured with needle holders. A 20 MHz Doppler velocity crystal was placed distal to the GC to detect cyclic flow reductions or permanent cessation of flow velocity indicative of occlusive thrombosis. In the phenotypically normal pigs with diet-induced atherosclerosis, occlusive thrombosis was detected in seven of seven LAD and seven of seven carotid arteries. In atherosclerotic vWD pigs, occlusive thrombosis failed to form in six LAD and 10 carotid arteries (p < 0.003, Wilcoxon rank sum test). Scanning electron micrographs demonstrated platelet-fibrin microthrombi in both groups of pigs; only phenotypically normal pigs had occlusive thrombi. Von Willebrand factor is essential for the development of occlusive thrombosis and appears to support the progression of a mixed microthrombus to an occlusive thrombus.
- von Willebrand factor
- von Willebrand's disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine