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An approach to the arsenic status in cardiovascular tissues of patients with coronary heart disease

Among non-cancer effects of arsenic, cardiovascular diseases have been well documented; however, few are known about the arsenic fate in cardiovascular tissues. We studied the analytic bioinorganic arsenic behaviour in cardiovascular tissues from an arsenic exposure coronary heart disease patient group from Antofagasta-Chile against a small unexposed arsenic coronary heart patient group. Total arsenic concentrations were measured in pieces of cardiovascular tissues of the arsenic-exposed and unexposed coronary heart patient groups by hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS); speciation analysis was made by high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS). Pieces of auricle (AU), mammary artery (MAM), saphenous vein (SAP) and fat residuals (FAT) were considered in this study. The arsenic concentrations in AU and MAM tissues were significantly different between both groups of patients. Also, it was demonstrated that the AU is an ‘As3+ target tissue.’ Otherwise, linking of the total concentrations of arsenic with conditional variables and variables related to medical geology factors allowed us to infer that the latter are more important for the cardiovascular risk of arsenic exposure in the Antofagasta region. Knowledge of total arsenic and the prevalence of the trivalent ion (As3+) in the AU of patients could contribute to understanding the effect of arsenic on cardiovascular diseases.