Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in atherosclerotic plaques in the walls of arteries of lower extremities from patients undergoing bypass operation for arterial obstruction

J Vasc Surg. 1997 Jul;26(1):29-31. doi: 10.1016/s0741-5214(97)70143-5.


Purpose: To study surgically excised vascular tissue from lower extremities for the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, to extend the previously described association of the organism with atherosclerosis.

Methods: Arterial biopsy specimens obtained from femoral and popliteal arteries during bypass operation for claudication were examined by immunocytochemical analysis and polymerase chain reaction for the presence of organisms.

Results: C. pneumoniae was detected in atherosclerotic plaques by either method in either artery of 11 of 23 patients (48%). Eight of 21 popliteal and three of 18 femoral arteries had positive results.

Conclusions: Detection of C. pneumoniae in peripheral arteries indicates that the organism is widespread in atherosclerosis of the vascular system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriosclerosis / microbiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / surgery
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Popliteal Artery / microbiology*