Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Vitamin E deficiency in variant angina.

Circulation 1996 July 2
BACKGROUND: Oxidative modification of LDL has been suggested to increase coronary vasoreactivity to agonists. A deficiency of vitamin E, a major antioxidant, may be related to the occurrence of coronary artery spasm.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Vitamin E levels were determined with the use of high-performance liquid chromatography in normolipidemic subjects, including 29 patients with active variant angina (group 1), 13 patients with inactive stage of variant angina without anginal attacks during the past 6 months (group 2), 32 patients with a significant (>75%) organic coronary stenosis and stable effort angina (group 3), and 30 patients without coronary artery disease (group 4). Total lipid levels in blood were calculated as total cholesterol plus triglyceride levels. The plasma alpha-tocopherol levels as well as alpha-tocopherol/lipids were significantly lower in group 1 than in groups 2 through 4. Also, the plasma gamma-tocopherol levels were significantly lower in group 1 than in groups 2 through 4. The vitamin E levels were not significantly different between group 1 patients with and those without a significant organic stenosis. In group 1, both alpha- and gamma-tocopherol levels were significantly elevated after a > or = 6-month angina-free period. The alpha-tocopherol levels in the LDL fraction were significantly lower in group 1 than in group 4. Plasma alpha-tocopherol levels were significantly correlated with those in the LDL fractions. In 6 patients of group 1 still having anginal attacks while receiving calcium channel blockers, the addition of vitamin E acetate (300 mg/d) significantly elevated plasma alpha-tocopherol levels and inhibited the occurrence of angina.

CONCLUSIONS: Plasma vitamin E levels were significantly lower in patients with active variant angina than in subjects without coronary spasm, suggesting an association between vitamin E deficiency and coronary artery spasm.

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