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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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April 2007
A. Eisen, A. Tenenbaum, N. Koren-Morag, D. Tanne, J. Shemesh, A. Golan, E. Z. Fisman, M. Motro, E. Schwammenthal and Y. Adler

Background: Coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adults, and cerebrovascular disease is associated with the presence of symptomatic and asymptomatic CHD[1]. Several studies noted an association between coronary calcification and thoracic aorta calcification by several imaging techniques, but this association has not yet been examined in stable angina pectoris patients with the use of spiral computed tomography.

Objectives: To examine by spiral CT the association between the presence and severity of CC[2] and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with stable angina pectoris.

Methods: The patients were enrolled in ACTION (A Coronary Disease Trial Investigating Outcome with Nifedipine GITS) in Israel. The 432 patients (371 men and 61 women aged 40–89 years) underwent chest CT and were evaluated for CC and aortic calcification.

Results: CC was documented in 90% of the patients (n=392) and aortic calcification in 70% (n=303). A significant association (P < 0.05) was found between severity of CC and severity of aortic calcification (as measured by area, volume and slices of calcification). We also found an association between the number of coronary vessels calcified and the presence of aortic calcification: 90% of patients with triple-vessel disease (n=157) were also positive for aortic calcification (P < 0.05). Age also had an effect: 87% of patients ≥ 65 years (n=219) were positive for both coronary and aortic calcification (P = 0.005) while only 57% ≤ 65 (n=209) were positive for both (P = 0.081).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a strong association between the presence and severity of CC and the presence and severity of calcification of thoracic aorta in patients with stable angina pectoris as detected by spiral CT.

 






[1] CHD = coronary heart disease



[2] CC = coronary calcification


February 2005
E. Aizen, G. Kagan, B. Assy, R. Iobel, Y. Bershadsky and A. Gilhar

Background: Alteration of innate and acquired immunity can play a role in the mechanism involved in the development of dementia. Epidemiologic studies indicate that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can delay the onset or slow progression of Alzheimer disease.

Objectives: To determine whether the use of NSAIDs[1] is associated with natural killer activity alteration in AD[2] and multi-infarct vascular dementia patients, as compared with non-demented elderly and healthy young people.

Methods: In this prospective open study four groups of subjects (AD, VD[3], non-demented elderly, and healthy young people) were treated with an NSAID drug (rofecoxib 12.5 mg/day or ibuprofen 400 mg twice daily) for 7 days. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity was measured after flow cytometry analysis before and after treatment.

Results: Of the 49 subjects studied, 15 had a diagnosis of AD (3 men, 12 women; mean age 83.5 ± 8.1 years), 15 had a diagnosis of multi-infarct VD (7 men, 8 women; mean age 75.5 ± 8.4), 13 were non-demented elderly (1 man, 12 women; mean age 80.2 ± 7.2), and 6 were healthy young volunteers (3 men, 3 women; mean age 36.8 ± 4.4). While all examined subjects showed decreased NK[4] cell cytotoxicity after treatment, this decrease was most prominent and statistically significant in elderly patients suffering from vascular dementia –  from an average of 30.5 ± 11.8% before treatment to 22.5 ± 16% after treatment (P = 0.04). The decrease in NK cell cytotoxicity was only moderate and not statistically significant in all other elderly and young subjects. Young healthy volunteers exhibited a significantly higher total NK cytotoxicity before and after treatment compared to all age groups (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that NSAIDs decrease NK activity in vascular dementia patients. Our findings also suggest that natural killer activity alteration cannot explain the ability of anti-inflammatory drugs to delay the onset or slow the progression of AD.






[1] NSAIDs = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

[2] AD = Alzheimer disease

[3] VD = vascular dementia

[4] NK = natural killer


E. Aizen, G. Kagan, B. Assy, R. Iobel, Y. Bershadsky and A. Gilhar

Background: Alteration of innate and acquired immunity can play a role in the mechanism involved in the development of dementia. Epidemiologic studies indicate that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can delay the onset or slow progression of Alzheimer disease.

Objectives: To determine whether the use of NSAIDs[1] is associated with natural killer activity alteration in AD[2] and multi-infarct vascular dementia patients, as compared with non-demented elderly and healthy young people.

Methods: In this prospective open study four groups of subjects (AD, VD[3], non-demented elderly, and healthy young people) were treated with an NSAID drug (rofecoxib 12.5 mg/day or ibuprofen 400 mg twice daily) for 7 days. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity was measured after flow cytometry analysis before and after treatment.

Results: Of the 49 subjects studied, 15 had a diagnosis of AD (3 men, 12 women; mean age 83.5 ± 8.1 years), 15 had a diagnosis of multi-infarct VD (7 men, 8 women; mean age 75.5 ± 8.4), 13 were non-demented elderly (1 man, 12 women; mean age 80.2 ± 7.2), and 6 were healthy young volunteers (3 men, 3 women; mean age 36.8 ± 4.4). While all examined subjects showed decreased NK[4] cell cytotoxicity after treatment, this decrease was most prominent and statistically significant in elderly patients suffering from vascular dementia –  from an average of 30.5 ± 11.8% before treatment to 22.5 ± 16% after treatment (P = 0.04). The decrease in NK cell cytotoxicity was only moderate and not statistically significant in all other elderly and young subjects. Young healthy volunteers exhibited a significantly higher total NK cytotoxicity before and after treatment compared to all age groups (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that NSAIDs decrease NK activity in vascular dementia patients. Our findings also suggest that natural killer activity alteration cannot explain the ability of anti-inflammatory drugs to delay the onset or slow the progression of AD.

 






[1] NSAIDs = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs



[2] AD = Alzheimer disease



[3] VD = vascular dementia



[4] NK = natural killer


August 2004
E. Leibovitz, N. Hazanov, A. Frieman, I. Elly and D. Gavish

Background: Elevated fibrinogen levels are considered a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and might be used as a predictor of risk for the development of atherothrombotic events. Several studies have reached equivocal conclusions regarding the effect of statins on fibrinogen.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of atorvastatin on plasma fibrinogen levels in patients with severe hypercholesterolemia and no other risk factors.

Methods: Twenty-two patients with low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels above 170 mg/dl (4.40 mmol/L) and with no other risk factors were included in the study. None of the patients had ever received hypolipidemic medication. Patients were followed for 24 weeks (6 office visits 4 weeks apart). During office visits, lipid profile, complete blood count, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels were measured.

Results: After 24 weeks of follow-up, total cholesterol decreased by 33% (287 ± 10 to 192 ± 8 mg/dl, P < 0.001), LDL-C[1] by 45% (198 ± 8 to 111 ± 7 mg/dl, P < 0.001) and triglycerides by 21% (189 ± 26 to 138 ± 15 mg/dl, P <0.001). Fibrinogen levels dropped by 18% (355 ± 26 to 275 ± 7 mg/dl, P = 0.01). CRP[2] levels decreased from 0.51 ± 0.15 to 0.28 ± 0.10 mg/dl, but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.09). High density lipoprotein, hemoglobin, white blood cell and platelet counts did not change.

Conclusions: We found that atorvastatin reduces plasma fibrinogen in patients with hypercholesterolemia.






[1] LDL-C = low density lipoprotein-cholesterol

[2] CRP = C-reactive protein


May 2003
E. Hasnis and A.Z. Reznick

Although the free radical theory of aging is widely accepted among scientists, the possibility of using antioxidants to delay the aging processes seems to encounter considerable skeptism among clinicians. This may be, at least in part, due to lack of knowledge about the basic chemistry and biological behavior of oxidative stress, antioxidants, and the complex interactions between them. However, one cannot ignore the explosive growth of information concerning the mechanisms underlying the processes of aging, their consequences, and the use of antioxidants in suppressing such effects. In order to provide patients with the most accurate information regarding the use of antioxidant supplementation in their diet, it is important to obtain basic data regarding oxidative stress and antioxidants. This article explores the role of oxidative stress in the aging phenomena, recent evidence supporting supplementation of antioxidants for aged people,  the ability of antioxidants to prevent or retard cancer and atherosclerosis (the major causes of mortality in the aged population), and the ability of antioxidant supplementation to delay age-dependent deterioration of cognitive function. Based on the data presented, we conclude that current knowledge provides insufficient and inconclusive support for antioxidant supplementation as a means of delaying aging processes, despite the encouraging results obtained in many studies.

November 2002
Peter C. Harpel, MD and Nasreen S. Haque, PhD

Chemokines and their receptors play regulatory roles in inflammatory reactions. Lipoprotein(a) is an atherogenic lipoprotein, however the mechanisms of its actions are not defined. Our interest in chemokines and their receptors was stimulated by the finding that incubation of Lp(a)[1] with human umbilical vein endothelial cells produced a conditioned medium that was chemotactic for human monocytes. Since infiltration of monocytes into the vessel wall is an early lesion in atherosclerosis, this finding provided a novel mechanism to explain the relationship between Lp(a) and atherosclerosis. The chemoattractant produced by HUVEC[2] was identified as CCL1/I-309, a CC chemokine previously reported to be secreted by stimulated monocytes/macrophages and T lymphocytes. CCR8, the CCL1 receptor, was identified on endothelial cells, and CCL1 was found to be a chemoattractant for these cells. Most recently we demonstrated functional CCR8 on human vascular smooth muscle cells and found that the Lp(a)-HUVEC conditioned medium is a chemoattractant for these cells. CCL1 increased metalloproteinase-2 production by HUVEC, an activity that enables these cells to remodel the vascular matrix. These studies suggest that CCR8 may play an important role in arterial wall pathology.

_________________________

[1] Lp(a) = lipoprotein(a)

[2] HUVEC = human umbilical vein endothelial cells

June 2002
March 2002
Amir Halkin, MD and Gad Keren, MD
November 2001
Haim Ashkenazi, MD, Bernard Rudensky, PhD, Esther Paz, MA, David Raveh, MD, Jonathan A. Balkin, MBBCh, Dan Tzivoni, MD and Amos M. Yinnon, MD

Background: Recent studies have suggested a possible association between Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and coronary heart disease.

Objectives: To determine titers of antibodies to Chlamydia pneumoniae in patients with acute  myocardial infraction compared with titers in several control groups.

Methods: This prospective case-control study investigated 209 individuals. We assessed the serum IgG antibody titers to Chlamydia pneumoniae in 57 consecutive patients admitted with AMI to our intensive coronary care unit during a 4 month period. A serum sample was drawn upon admission after 6 weeks. Results were compared with those of four control groups: a) patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia (n=18), b) patients with community-acquired urinary tract infection (n=42), c) patients with angiographically normal coronary artery disease (n=44), and d) patients with stable coronary artery disease (n=48). Serum immunoglobin G antibody titers to C. pneumoniae were determined using standard micro-immunofluorescene technology.

Results: Of 57 patients with AMI, 32 (56%) had a high lgG titer to C. pneumoniae (>=1:256) on the initial test, which remained unchanged (62%) after 6 weeks. The percentage of patients with high titers was significantly lower in the control groups: 5 of 18 patients (28%) in the pneumonia group (P<0.01), 11 of 42 (26%) in the urinary tract infection group (P<0.01), 11 of 44 (25%) with normal coronary arteries (P<0.01), and 17 of 48 (35%) with stable chronic ischemic heart disease (P<0.05).

Conclusion: The detection of high titers of lgG antibodies to C. pneumoniae in many patients with AMI, compared to control groups, suggest that chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection plays a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and acute ischemic events.

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