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Heme Oxygenase-1 Is Expressed in Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques Infected by Helicobacter pylori and Is More Prevalent in Asymptomatic Subjects *

Background and Purpose— It is not well established what are the features, if any, that distinguish symptomatic from asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques. Inducible heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a component of cellular defense mechanisms against oxidative stress. We aimed to assess the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) and the expression of HO-1 in carotid atherosclerotic plaques of patients with and without prior neurologic symptoms attributable to the operated artery.

Methods— We examined 25 symptomatic and 23 asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques removed during endarterectomy and 7 normal carotid arteries obtained at autopsy. We investigated the presence of H pylori DNA in the vessel wall and performed immunohistochemical detection of HO-1.

Results— H pylori DNA was present in 28 plaques and HO-1 was expressed in 30 plaques. HO-1 was found in 27 H pylori-positive specimens but in only 3 H pylori-negative specimens (P<0.001). All 7 normal carotid arteries were negative for both H pylori and HO-1. Although 82% of asymptomatic specimens were positive for H pylori and 87% for HO-1, only 36% of symptomatic specimens were positive for both H pylori and HO-1 (P<0.01).

Conclusions— This study suggests a strong association between H pylori infection and expression of HO-1 in carotid atherosclerotic plaques. There was a substantial prevalence of these features in specimens obtained from asymptomatic subjects.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-22-2008
Authors: Sebastian F. Ameriso, MD; Agustina Ruiz Villamil, MD; Christine Zedda, BS; Juan C. Parodi, MD; Sergio Garrido, MD; Maria Ines Sarchi, PhD; Marcelo Schultz, HT; Jorge Boczkowski, MD, PhD Gustavo E. Sevlever, MD, PhD
Source: American Heart Association, Inc.