Direct Left Ventricle-to-Coronary Artery Stent Restores Perfusion to Chronic Ischemic Swine Myocardium
Background. Direct left ventricle (LV)-to-coronary artery shunts (VSTENT) have been proposed as an alternative means of myocardial revascularization. The goal of this study was to examine quantitative changes in myocardial perfusion and possible mechanisms of revascularization with an LV-to-coronary shunt.
Methods. Ameroid occluders were implanted on the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) of 6 pigs to create chronic ischemia. Four weeks later, a VSTENT was placed to directly connect the distal LAD with the LV chamber. Animals survived for an additional 3 weeks and received periodic bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections to identify dividing cells to identify and quantify angiogenesis. Regional myocardial perfusion (RMP) was measured with color microspheres under adenosine vasodilatory stress before and 3 weeks after VSTENT implantation. Vascularity was assessed histologically by an overall vascularity index and a growth index reflecting the density of BrdU-positive vascular cells.
Results. Three weeks after VSTENT placement, RMP improved from 38.4% ± 19.6% of non-ischemic flow to 86.8% ± 13.7% in treated animals (P < .05). This benefit was accompanied by histological evidence of increased vascularity and vascular proliferation. Four of 5 animals had patent and functional devices at the end of the study.
Conclusion. Chronic VSTENT placement improves RMP and may promote arterial remodeling in chronically ischemic porcine myocardium.
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