Frequency of Atherosclerotic Lesions in Coronary Arteries of Autopsy Specimens in Isfahan Forensic Medicine Center

J Golshahi, P Rajabi, F Golshahi


Background: Atherosclerosis of coronary arteries and myocardial infarction are the most common fatal cardiac diseases discovered in autopsies. The fact that formation of these lesions are preventable through exact health care programs necessitates collecting baseline information on the prevalence of such lesions as performed in this study.
Methods: In this descriptive, cross-sectional study, from October 2002 to November 2003, during a randomly chosen month of every season, the hearts of autopsy specimens aging 15-50 years referred to Isfahan forensic center (204 specimens) were dissected and fixed in formalin 10% and coronary arteries were sectioned. In case of a definite or suspicious lesion, microscopic slides were also prepared. Otherwise, 3 random slides from each branch of coronary arteries were studied by a pathologist. Then the percentage of vessel obstruction was detected and stages of lesions were classified as fibrotic and complicated.
Results: Frequency of atherosclerotic lesions in 204 studied specimens (182 male and 22 female) was 29.4%. Atheromatous plaques were observed in 31.3% of the male and 13.6% of the female specimens. The most frequent involved branches were left anterior descending, right coronary, left main and left circumflex arteries respectively. Relative frequency of lesion increased with age.
Conclusion: The frequency of atherosclerotic lesions in this study is comparable to other studies. The difference in relative
frequency of atheromatous plaques in both sexes is expectable, probably due to low number of studied women or the low prevalence of atherosclerotic lesions among young women.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, Coronary artery, Autopsy

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