Increased preferential absorption in human atherosclerotic plaque with oral beta carotene. Implications for laser endarterectomy
Carotid Artery Diseases
Patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy were pretreated with low-dose, oral beta carotene to determine whether the carotenoid content of plaque could be increased in vivo. Beta carotene-treated patients had a 50-fold increase in their plaque beta carotene level from 0.066 to 3.3 micrograms beta carotene/g plaque. Microscopy and microspectrophotometry demonstrated that plaque from beta carotene-treated patients had higher carotenoid levels and higher absorption (450-500 nm) compared with control specimens, but normal media was unaffected. This demonstration of increased preferential absorption by plaque suggests that selective ablation of atherosclerotic plaque may be enhanced by pretreating patients with oral beta carotene.