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  • 1 Dedinje Cardiovascular Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 2 Internal Clinic, CC »Kragujevac«, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia
  • 3 University of Kragujevac, Kragujevac, Serbia
  • 4 Institute of Physiology “Richard Burian”, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
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The aim of this study was to investigate the iron concentrations in serum and carotid plaque in patients with different morphology of carotid atherosclerotic plaque and compared with other metal ions. Carotid endarterectomy due to the significant atherosclerotic stenosis was performed in 91 patients. Control group consisted of 27 patients, without carotid atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaques were divided into four morphological groups, according to ultrasonic and intraoperative characteristics. Iron, copper and zinc concentration in plaque, carotid artery and serum were measured by spectrophotometry. Serum iron concentrations were higher in patients with hemorrhagic plaques in comparison to the control group (4.7 μmol/l ± 1.2 vs. 2.1 μmol/l ± 0.8, p < 0.05). Iron concentrations were higher in patients with hemorrhagic plaques in comparison to fibrolipid plaques (72.1 ± 14.3 μg/g vs. 39.3 ± 22.9 μg/g; p < 0.05). Negative significant correlation was found for zinc in serum and plaque iron concentration in patients (p < 0.05). We also demonstrated positive significant correlation for copper and iron in serum (p < 0.05). The data obtained in the current study are consistent with the hypothesis that high iron levels may contribute to atherosclerosis and its complications as factors in a multifactorial disease.

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