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Vitamin E supplementation, plasma lipids and incidence of restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
The aim of the study was to investigate whether vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) can prevent the re-narrowing of the coronary arteries (restenosis) following angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, PTCA), a procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries. To this end, two groups of each 50 patients were compared. All patients had undergone balloon angioplasty before the study. Over a period of four months, one group received vitamin E supplementation, whereas the other group was given a placebo. It turned out that the risk of restenosis was reduced by about 30% in the vitamin E group. For further details, please see the study.
Coronary bypass operation. A coronary bypass operation becomes necessary if one or more coronary arteries have developed severe atherosclerotic deposits that threaten to clog the arteries and cause a heart attack. In order to avoid a heart attack, a coronary bypass operation is frequently performed. Surgically, a bypass is constructed around the atherosclerotic deposits in order to guarantee unrestricted blood flow to all parts of the heart muscle.
The overall success of a coronary artery bypass operation is threatened by two main problems: blood clots and atherosclerotic deposits.
Coronary angioplasty. Coronary angioplasty is the approach of removing atherosclerotic deposits mechanically. This approach generally involves an inflatable balloon or, more recently, laser or scraping methods. All angioplasty procedures damage the inside of the coronary arteries. In more than 30% of all cases a restenosis occurs, leading to the clogging of the coronary artery within a time as short as six months. The most serious complications during the procedure is the rupturing of the wall of the coronary artery, requiring immediate bypass surgery. Following the procedure, blood clots and small pieces of artery wall tissue can lead to a clogging of the coronary artery. Long-term complications include the overgrowth of scar tissue inside the coronary artery and the continued development of atherosclerotic deposits.
DeMaio SJ, King SB 3rd, Lembo NJ, Roubin GS, Hearn JA, Bhagavan HN, Sgoutas DS. Vitamin E supplementation, plasma lipids and incidence of restenosis after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Feb;11(1):68-73.