About this study
The majority of the acute coronary events are caused by coronary artery segments with minimal luminal disease, but with potentially significant vascular wall inflammation and oxidative stress leading to plaque vulnerability. It has become apparent that an initial injury at the endothelial surface, is the primary site of the mechanisms involved and a role for vascular inflammation and the interaction with oxidative stress continues to emerge. Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is a novel biomarker for vascular wall inflammation that circulates in the blood bound to both low density (LDL) and high density (HDL) lipoprotein and promotes vascular inflammation. Circulating levels of Lp-PLA2 mass and activity are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. Recent studies, demonstrating that Lp-PLA2 is also associated with coronary endothelial dysfunction. However, the relationship between Lp-PLA2 and early atherosclerotic changes in the coronary arteries, and the contribution of lipoprotein binding to the deleterious potential of Lp- PLA2 have not been elucidated. Our working hypothesis is that the endogenous local activation of the Lp-PLA2 pathway plays an integral role in early coronary atherosclerosis and contributes to the mechanism of coronary endothelial dysfunction and the structural and mechanical properties reflecting plaque vulnerability. Thus, the current application will characterize prospectively the correlation between the functional, mechanical, and structural vascular wall properties, and the systemic as well as the coronary activity of the Lp-PLA2 pathway.