By the use of the thrombocyte consumption test (T.C.T.) autoantibodies reacting with heart muscle tissue have been demonstrated in 63·3% of the cases of coronary heart disease accompanied by different grades of insufficiency of the blood supply to the heart muscle. These autoantibodies could be detected two to three weeks after the onset in most patients experiencing a coronary attack for the first time, and persisted for about three to eight weeks following single attacks, whereas following recurrence in patients affected for several months or years the autoantibodies appeared in the serum most frequently within one week, and when the painful attacks were repeated, the T.C.T. remained positive for months, with only short interruptions.
In cases of acute myocardial infarction the finding of a positive T.C.T. and its duration did not depend on the severity of the clinical symptoms nor on the measure of the laboratory changes but positive results were obtained more frequently in patients with acute coronary insufficiency (intermediate coronary syndrome) or angina pectoris with intense pain and frequent attacks than in patients in whom the attacks were infrequent producing slight symptoms.
There was no evidence that these autoantibodies had any damaging effect.
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