Effect of Blood Shear Forces on Platelet Mediated Thrombosis Inside Arterial Stenosis.
Shear induced activation of platelets plays a major role in the onset of thrombosis in atherosclerotic arteries. Blood hemodynamics and its effect on platelet kinetics has been studied mainly in in vitro and in ex vivo experiments. We designed new in vivo methods to study blood hemodynamic effects on platelet kinetics in canine stenosed carotid arteries. A carotid artery-jugular vein anastomotic shunt was produced. Intimal damage and controlled variations in the degree of stenosis were produced on the artery. An inflatable cuff was placed around the jugular vein to control vascular resistance. An electromagnetic flowmeter was used to measure blood flow. Doppler ultrasound crystals were used to measure the velocity profiles inside and distal to the stenosis. Stenosis geometry was obtained using digital subtraction angiography and quantitative arteriography. Using these measurements we calculated the wall shear stress using the finite difference solution of the Navier-Stokes equations. To study platelet kinetics, autologous platelets were labeled with Indium Oxine and injected IV. A collimated Nal gamma counter was placed over the stenosis to detect radio-labeled platelet accumulation as platelet mediated thrombi formed in the stenosis. The radioactive count rate increased in an inverse parallel fashion to the decline in flow rate during thrombus formation. The platelet accumulation increased with the increase of percent stenosis and was maximal at the narrow portion of the stenosis. Acute thrombus formation leading to arterial occlusion was only observed for stenosis higher than 70 +/- 5%. Platelet accumulation rate was not significant until the pressure gradient across the stenosis exceeded 40 +/- 10 mmHg. Totally occlusive thrombus formation was only observed for shear stresses greater than a critical value of 100 +/- 10 Pa. Beyond this critical value acute platelet thrombus formation increased exponentially with shear. Increased shear stresses were found to overcome the antithrombotic effect of aspirin. Critical levels of shear might be produced clinically at sites of arterial lesions by a sudden change in blood hemodynamics or flow geometry. This may put a patient with arterial stenosis at greater risk of acute thrombus formation leading to stroke or myocardial infarction.
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- Engineering: Biomedical; Biophysics: Medical; Physics: Fluid and Plasma