To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae DNA in infrequently examined blood vessels.
Vessels obtained from 15 men and six women at coronary artery bypass surgery were tested by a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for C pneumoniae DNA.
Chlamydia pneumoniae DNA was detected in four of six atheromatous ascending aorta specimens but in none of eight non-atheromatous aorta specimens, in six of 11 atheromatous internal mammary artery specimens but in none of seven non-atheromatous internal mammary artery specimens, in five of seven long saphenous vein specimens showing evidence of disease but in none of 12 specimens without evidence of disease, and in two of three previously grafted veins. Overall, C pneumoniae occurred significantly more often in diseased than in normal vessels (p = < 0.00001).
Chlamydia pneumoniae is often present in diseased areas of arteries, including the internal mammary arteries, and even in diseased areas of veins. It is not present in apparently healthy areas of either type of vessel.
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