Consumption of vitamin E in coronary circulation in patients with variant angina.Cardiovasc Res. 1999 Jan; 41(1):291-8.CR
The plasma status of vitamin E has been suggested to be linked to the activity of coronary artery spasm. This study was designed to determine whether vitamin E is actually consumed in the coronary circulation in patients with active variant angina having repetitive spasm-induced transient myocardial ischemia and reperfusion.
Blood samples were obtained simultaneously from the aortic root, coronary sinus and right atrium in 12 patients with variant angina due to spasm of the left coronary artery, nine patients with stable effort angina and nine control subjects. Plasma vitamin E (alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) concentrations were determined by use of high-performance liquid chromatography and plasma lipid peroxides were measured as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS).
At baseline, both plasma alpha- (p < 0.01) and gamma- (p < 0.05) tocopherol levels were significantly lower in the coronary sinus (5.50 +/- 0.50 and 0.55 +/- 0.07 mg/l, mean +/- SEM) than in the aortic root (6.63 +/- 0.57 and 0.63 +/- 0.08 mg/l) and also in the right atrium (6.44 +/- 0.61 and 0.63 +/- 0.09 mg/l) in the variant angina group. The TBARS level was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the coronary sinus than in the aortic in this group. In contrast, these levels were not significantly different between the samples from the coronary sinus and the aortic root or the right atrium in the control group and also in the stable effort angina group. The coronary sinus-aortic difference in plasma vitamin E levels in the variant angina group was not significantly altered after left coronary artery spasm induced by intracoronary injection of acetylcholine. Also, the plasma vitamin E levels in the aortic root, coronary sinus and right atrium all remained unchanged in the stable effort angina group after pacing-induced angina and in the control group after intracoronary administration of acetylcholine.
Transcardiac reduction in plasma vitamin E concentrations concomitant with lipid peroxide formation was demonstrated in patients with active variant angina, suggesting actual consumption of this major endogenous antioxidant. Oxidative stress and vitamin E exhaustion may be involved in the pathogenesis of coronary artery spasm.