Author + information
- Received November 8, 1991
- Revision received January 2, 1992
- Accepted January 13, 1992
- Published online June 1, 1992.
- John A. Ambrose, MD, FACC∗
- ↵∗Address for reprints: John A. Ambrose, MD, Box 1030, Mount Sinai Medical Center, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, New York 10029.
In a majority of instances, both unstable angina and acute myocardial infarction occur secondary to plaque disruption and thrombus formation. Although the pathogenetic substrates are similar the clinical presentations are quite different. It is hypothesized in this editorial review that the amount of acute thrombus formation and specifically fibrin deposition is greater in myocardial infarction than in unstable angina. Both angiographic studies and studies analyzing the response to thrombolytic agents suggest more thrombus in myocardial infarction than in unstable angina.
These data have recently been substantiated by angioscopic observations in these acute syndromes suggesting that more platelet-rich (whitish) thrombus occurs in unstable angina and more red thrombus in myocardial infarction. The red thrombus presumably would be more responsive to thrombolytic agents. Furthermore, it is proposed that these differences between syndromes in acute thrombus formation can be explained by the interplay of vessel wall injury, coagulation variables or stasis of blood flow occurring at or after the time of presentation.
Therefore, acute myocardial infarction is associated with occlusive, fibrin-rich thrombus, whereas in unstable angina, the thrombus is nonocclusive, mural and possibly more platelet-rich. However, the clinical syndrome that ultimately develops after plaque disruption is dependent not only on the amount of acute thrombus formation but on the net result of all factors that influence the balance between coronary blood supply and myocardial oxygen demand.
☆ Editorials published in Journal of the American College of Cardiologyreflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of JACC or the American College of Cardiology.
- Received November 8, 1991.
- Revision received January 2, 1992.
- Accepted January 13, 1992.