This study was undertaken to observe coronary thrombus formation serially from an antegrade perspective by means of a new thin flexible angioscope that has an inflatable balloon at the distal tip and an angulation mechanism. To test its capabilities, thrombi were induced in the left anterior descending coronary artery of 11 dogs by copper coils, and the thrombi were then observed through this angioscope, which had been introduced into the coronary artery by a guide catheter. Five minutes after insertion of the copper coil, fibrin-like material and white components of the thrombi were seen massing around the copper coil. Then, thin, mixed thrombotic white and red components formed around the copper coil. At fifteen minutes after the copper coil insertion, the thrombi grew in size. Ten minutes later, the thrombi finally obstructed the coro nary lumen in most dogs. The red and white appearance of these thrombi was confirmed macroscopi cally, and the microscopic findings of these occluding thrombi revealed a fibrinous network with platelet aggregates and blood cell coagulation. Though ordinary angiography cannot reveal the precise features of the various coronary thrombi, this new angioscope was able to discern them from the antegrade perspective. The capabilities of this angioscope, which enabled these findings, should prove helpful in evaluating the stages of human coronary thrombosis. Of additional benefit, this angioscope can be used clinically for cardiac catheterization.
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