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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cocaine: an independent risk factor for aortic sudanophilia. A preliminary report.

Several recent autopsy reports indicate an increased prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis in ischemic heart disease temporally associated with cocaine abuse. The objective of this study was to conduct a retrospective analysis of sudanophilic lesions in young asymptomatic individuals who abused cocaine. Twenty-six cases (15-34-year-old black males) were examined from the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) study. Sixteen subjects (mean age 25 +/- 1 years) had a positive toxicologic screen for cocaine and/or its major metabolites at autopsy and were confirmed habitual cocaine abusers. The remaining 10 cases (mean age 24 +/- 2 years) were subjects with a negative toxicologic screen at autopsy and no history of illicit drug abuse. Post-mortem blood was collected for lipoprotein analysis and determination of smoking status. The aorta and right coronary arteries were stained with Sudan IV and the degree and extent of sudanophilia was quantitated by image analysis. Multiple linear regression analysis of cocaine, age, smoking status, VLDL+LDL-C/HDL-C ratio and HDL-C as predictor variables of percentage intimal surface involvement, revealed an association between cocaine abuse and the extent of sudanophilia in both the thoracic and abdominal aorta (P = 0.002 and 0.049, respectively). Analysis of risk factors or of cocaine abuse as predictors of sudanophilia did not achieve statistical significance in the right coronary artery. These preliminary results suggest that habitual use of cocaine, through unknown mechanism(s), increases aortic sudanophilia independent of traditional risk factors.[1]


  1. Cocaine: an independent risk factor for aortic sudanophilia. A preliminary report. Kolodgie, F.D., Virmani, R., Cornhill, J.F., Herderick, E.E., Malcom, G.T., Mergner, W.J. Atherosclerosis (1992) [Pubmed]
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