Objective: Infection may lead to inflammation, atherosclerosis and thrombotic vascular events. The atherosclerotic effect of hypercholesterolaemia on the vascular system is well-known. However, limited studies were done on the therapeutic and preventative agents. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of infection and cholesterol rich diet combined with an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory agent and red wine on the pulmonary vascular system.
Methods: Fifty-nine rats were evaluated. Six groups were created: Control-Group I (n = 10); infection – Group II (n = 9), infection-cholesterol rich diet – Group III (n = 12), infection-cholesterol rich dietcefepime – Group IV (n = 11); infection-cholesterol rich diet-diclofenac potassium – Group V (n = 9); infection-cholesterol rich diet and red wine – Group VI (n = 8). Blood samples of rats were collected for cholesterol analysis every month. Sections of central pulmonary arteries were examined for thickness of the intima and medial wall by computerised image analysis.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference in serum cholesterol levels and in thickness of the intima between the groups (p = 0.000). The rest of the groups had more intimal thickening than Group I (p = 0.000). Group III had thicker intima than Groups IV and V (p = 0.009, p = 0.011 respectively). There was no significant difference between the groups in thickness of media (p = 0.432).
Conclusion: Infection and cholesterol rich diet have a synergistic effect on atherosclerosis in pulmonary arteries. However, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents could be useful in prevention.