Microparticles (MPs) are submicron vesicles, released from activated, and apoptotic cells. MPs are elevated in the circulation of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and have pro-thrombotic potential. However, limited data exists on MP signature over time following an acute coronary event.
Circulating total annexin v + (Anv+) MPs of endothelial (EMP), platelet (PMP), monocyte (MMP), neutrophil (NMP) and smooth muscle cell (SMMP) origin were quantified by flow cytometry. 13 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) were prospectively enrolled and 12 patients with stable angina (SA) were included as a comparator group. A panel of MP was measured at baseline, after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and at days 1, 7, 30 and 6 months. Intra & inter group comparison was made between various time points. MP mediated thrombin generation was measured by recording lag phase, velocity index, peak thrombin and endogenous thrombin potential at these time points and compared with healthy controls. The total AnV+ MP levels were similar in ACS and SA groups at baseline, peaked immediately after PCI and were at their lowest on day 1. PMP & EMP levels remained significantly elevated in ACS patients at 6 months when compared to SA. No such difference was noted with NMP, MMP and SMMP. Patients with coronary artery disease showed abnormal thrombograms when compared to controls. Peak thrombin (nano moles) was significantly higher in CAD when compared to controls (254 IQR [226, 239] in ACS, 255 IQR [219, 328] in SA and 132 IQR [57, 252] in controls; p = 0.006). Differences in thrombin generation between ACS and SA were not significant (p = 1). Furthermore, thrombin parameters remained abnormal in ACS & SA patients at 6 months.
Total MP and individual MP phenotypes were significantly elevated after PCI reflecting endothelial injury. Elevated PMP and EMP levels at 6 months in ACS patients is suggestive of on-going inflammation, endothelial injury and may explain on-going pro-thrombogenicity seen up to 6 months after ACS despite dual antiplatelet therapy.

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