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The potassium channel opener levcromakalim causes expansive remodelling of experimental vein grafts

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posted on 2023-06-08, 19:46 authored by Lucy Wales, Martin Gosling, Graham W Taylor, Alun H Davies, Janet T Powell
Background: Maintenance of luminal area is essential for the optimal performance of venous bypass grafts. However, injury and response to the arterial circulation evoke vascular remodelling that favors intimal hyperplasia, with luminal encroachment and inward remodelling. Potassium channel-opening drugs reduce tissue workload and peripheral vascular resistance and through these mechanisms could favor outward or expansive remodelling of vein grafts. We tested the hypothesis that levcromakalim, a potassium channel opener, would enhance expansive remodelling in vein grafts. Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 33 rats with vena cava-to-aorta bypass grafts. Drugs were administered via osmotic pump for 7 days after surgery. Half the cohort had bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) infused at day 6. Morphometric analysis was conducted of pressure perfusion-fixed grafts harvested at 1 week and 4 weeks. Results: At 1 week, lumen area was similar in both groups (1.82 ± 0.39 mm2 placebo vs 1.85 ± 0.36 mm2 levcromakalim), although medial cell density and BrdU staining were significantly increased in the placebo group. At 4 weeks, lumen area was unchanged in the placebo group (1.88 ± 0.51 mm2) but had increased to 2.32 ± 0.46 mm2 in the levcromakalim group (P = .039 vs 1 week), with a very significant reduction in the intimal area (levcromakalim, 0.06 ± 0.02 mm2 vs placebo, 0.33 ± 0.17 mm2; P = .001). Conclusions: Early, short-term treatment with levcromakalim favors expansive remodelling of experimental vein grafts to mimic the effect of external stenting. This expansive remodelling was associated with a reduction in medial cell proliferation at 1 week. Clinical Relevance: Critical limb ischemia can be treated by bypass surgery or angioplasty, but inward remodelling with restenosis is a common problem. There has been little previous experimental work to identify treatments associated with expansive remodelling, which would increase the chances of vessel patency. Here, in a randomized trial, we show that short-term treatment with a potassium channel opener (a class of drug that can be used to treat hypertension) results in strong, expansive remodelling, with increases the lumen area and graft size of experimental vein grafts by >25%. © 2006 The Society for Vascular Surgery.


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Journal of Vascular Surgery









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