Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the DNA and chromosomal damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and to explore the effect of coronary angiographies in these patients.
Methods: The study included ACS patients who underwent a coronary angiography (CAG) and healthy controls. The ACS sample was divided into two groups: patients with unstable angina pectoris (UAP) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The frequency of DNA damage [expressed as genetic damage index (GDI)] was analyzed using the comet assay pre- and post-CAG. Chromosomal aberrations were measured as micronuclei (MNs) frequency using the cytokinesis-block MN (CBMN) assay. Additionally, detailed anamnestic data were taken from the each patient.
Results: Increased levels of DNA and chromosomal damage have been revealed in ACS patients compared to the healthy controls. GDI values were also significantly higher in AMI patients than in UAP patients. A highly significant increase of DNA damage was also observed in all patients post-CAG. There was significantly higher MN frequency and significantly lower nuclear division index (NDI) in AMI patients than in UAP patientsí pre-CAG. After CAG, there was no significant difference in MN frequencies and NDI values between UAP and AMI patients.
Conclusion: Correlated with disease severity, our results showed that AMI patients have higher levels of both DNA and chromosomal damage in PBLs compared to UAP patients. The increased level of genome instability was especially evident post-CAG compared to the observed damage pre-CAG.