SHAHEED RAJAIE CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICAL CENTER, VALI-E-ASR AVE., MELLAT PARK, TEHRAN, IRAN
Background: Whether or not atherosclerosis is an infectious disease is not clear. In addition to the classic risk factors, a number of infectious agents such as Chlamydiapneumoniae have been implicated as a possible cause of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of C. pneumoniae DNA in atherosclerotic plaques by PCR.
Method: Thirty patients (mean age 59±8; 18 male, 12 female) undergoing coronary bypass grafting were included in the study.
Results: C. pneumoniae DNA was found in 16 (53%) out of the 30 specimens having been dissected from the subjects' coronary arteries. The presence of C. pneumoniae DNA in a considerable number of these plaques supports the notion that it may have a role in the development of atherosclerosis.
Conclusion: The results of studies seeking to clarify the nature of the link between infection and coronary heart disease are eagerly awaited.