Smooth muscle cell proliferation and extracellular matrix formation are responsible for disease progression in de novo and restenotic atherosclerosis. Internal elastic lamella (IEL) layer maintains the structural integrity of intima, and disruption of IEL may be associated with alterations in neointima, type III collagen deposition, and lesion progression in restenosis. Nineteen restenotic plaques (12 patients) procured during peripheral interventions were compared with 13 control plaques (12 patients) without restenosis. Hematoxylin & Eosin and elastic trichrome stains were used to measure length and percentage of IEL disruption, cellularity, and inflammation score. Type I and III collagens, smooth muscle cell (smc), fibroblast density, and nuclear proliferation (Ki67) percentage were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. IEL disruption percentage (28 ± 3.6 vs 6.1 ± 2.4; p = 0.0006), type III collagen content (0.33 ± 0.06 vs 0.17 ± 0.07; p = 0.0001), smc density (2014 ± 120 vs 923 ± 150; p = 0.0001), fibroblast density (2,282 ± 297 vs 906 ± 138; p = 0.0001), and Ki67 percentage (21.6 ± 2 vs 8.2 ± 0.65; p = 0.0001) were significantly increased in restenotic plaques compared to de novo plaques. Logistic regression analysis identified significant correlation between IEL disruption and neointimal smc density (r = 0.45; p = 0.01) and with type III collagen deposition (r = 0.61; p = 0.02) in restenosis. Increased IEL disruption may trigger cellular proliferation, altering collagen production, and enhancing restenotic neointima. In conclusion, understanding the pathologic and molecular basis of restenosis and meticulous-guided interventions oriented to minimize IEL damage may aid to reduce neointimal proliferation and the occurrence of restenosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine