1. Myocardial thromboxane A2 production increases in patients with pacing-induced ischaemia and correlates with a decrease in myocardial lactate extraction. The release of myocardial thromboxane A2 before any lactate production was observed in patients with unstable angina. This study was proposed to clarify whether the early thromboxane A2 release contributed to the ongoing myocardial ischaemia and to determine which metabolites can be attributed to the thromboxane A2 release. Thirty-five patients with chest pain and positive treadmill exercise test underwent atrial pacing to the predicted maximal heart rate. The pacing was maintained at this peak rate for 10 min, then ceased. Blood samples of the ascending aorta and coronary sinus were drawn simultaneously at rest, at 2 and 10 min of peak-pacing, and 5 and 10 min after termination of the pacing; samples were used for analyses of lipid profiles, prostacyclin, thromboxane A2, lactate and lipid peroxides on plasma and low-density lipoprotein particles.

2. Twenty out of 35 patients who displayed pacing-induced ischaemia were documented by electrocardiographic evidence of ST depression >2 mm developing after 2 min of peak-pacing [ischaemic group, STΔ(+)]. They had (i) negative fractional lactate extraction; (ii) pacing-induced decreases of plasma thromboxane A2 levels in the coronary sinus blood (564 ± 57 versus 479 ± 47 ng/l, P < 0.05) at 2 min of peak-pacing; the data increased at 10 min of peak-pacing (564 ± 57 versus 620 ± 60 ng/l, P < 0.05), then returned to baseline levels at 5 and 10 min post-pacing; (iii) significantly increased lipid peroxides on low-density lipoprotein of the coronary sinus blood at 2 and 10 min of peak-pacing (each P < 0.001), as well as at 5 min post-pacing (P < 0.05); (iv) significant correlation between thromboxane A2 levels and lipid peroxides on low-density lipoprotein of the coronary sinus blood samples.

3. In STΔ(+) patients, myocardial thromboxane synthesis changed before lactate production and correlated with the increase of lipid peroxides on low-density lipoprotein of the coronary venous blood. This implies that lipid peroxides on low-density lipoprotein participate in thromboxane production and play a determinative role in pacing-induced ischaemia.

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