Abstract 3482: Increased Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Expression is Correlated with Carotid Intraplaque hemorrhage in a Swine Model
Purpose: The limited number of large animal carotid atherosclerotic models restricts the preclinical evaluation of endovascular therapies. Carotid intraplaque hemorrhage may be associated with a higher risk of ischemic stroke in patients with carotid disease. In this study, we assess the association of the lesional expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 with vulnerable atherosclerotic carotid plaque and intraplaque hemorrhage in a Swine model.
Materials and Methods: Carotid atherosclerosis was induced in miniswines using the combination of partial ligation and high cholesterol diet, and a minimum 70% stenosis was confirmed by Doppler ultrasonography immediately post-ligation. Carotid artery sections were obtained for histopathological examination and immunohistochemical study for MMP-9 at three months. Distal embolism was determined by the presence of atheroemboli in the ipsilateral rete mirabile. Atherosclerotic changes were classified by AHA/Stary stage (type I to VI). The association of distal embolism in the rete mirabile with vulnerable carotid plaque was analyzed. The association of MMP-9 expression in the plaque with the vulnerable plaque and intraplaque hemorrhage was further analyzed.
Results:One hundred ninety-one carotid segments from ten carotid artery models were assessed. Among 139 segments with atherosclerotic changes, 102 segments had vulnerable plaque (Stary IV to VI). Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques were found more frequently in the vessel wall proximal to the partial ligation than distal (P<0.0001). Distal embolism was found in all 10 rete mirabilis, and deemed to be from the ipsilateral vulnerable carotid plaques. Areas positive for MMP-9 tended to be greater in the vulnerable plaque than in the stable plaque (8.69 ± 0.73% vs. 7.04 ± 0.94%, p=0.35). Areas positive for MMP-9 were significantly greater in the plaque with intraplaque hemorrhage than in the plaque without intraplaque hemorrhage (11.84 ± 1.22% vs. 6.63 ± 0.59%, p<0.001). On multivariate analysis, positive expression of MMP-9 was an independent predictor of intraplaque hemorrhage (p=0.007).
Conclusion: Vulnerable carotid plaques with distal embolism were created in a Swine model of carotid atherosclerosis. Increased expression of MMP-9 may be associated with vulnerable carotid plaques, especially having the feature of intraplaque hemorrhage.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.