BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Observational studies show a peak incidence of cardiovascular events after major surgery. For example, the risk of myocardial infarction increases 25-fold early after hip replacement. The acuteness of this increased risk suggests abrupt enhancement in plaque vulnerability, which may be related to intra-plaque inflammation, thinner fibrous cap and/or necrotic core expansion. We hypothesized that acute systemic inflammation following major orthopedic surgery induces such changes.
METHODS: ApoE(-/-) mice were fed a western diet for 10 weeks. Thereafter, half the mice underwent mid-shaft femur osteotomy followed by realignment with an intramedullary K-wire, to mimic major orthopedic surgery. Mice were sacrificed 5 or 15 days post-surgery (n = 22) or post-saline injection (n = 13). Serum amyloid A (SAA) was measured as a marker of systemic inflammation. Paraffin embedded slides of the aortic root were stained to measure total plaque area and to quantify fibrosis, calcification, necrotic core, and inflammatory cells.
RESULTS: Surgery mice showed a pronounced elevation of serum amyloid A (SAA) and developed increased plaque and necrotic core area already at 5 days, which reached significance at 15 days (p = 0.019; p = 0.004 for plaque and necrotic core, respectively). Macrophage and lymphocyte density significantly decreased in the surgery group compared to the control group at 15 days (p = 0.037; p = 0.024, respectively). The density of neutrophils and mast cells remained unchanged.
CONCLUSIONS: Major orthopedic surgery in ApoE-/- mice triggers a systemic inflammatory response. Atherosclerotic plaque area is enlarged after surgery mainly due to an increase of the necrotic core. The role of intra-plaque inflammation in this response to surgical injury remains to be fully elucidated.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2016|