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Revista chilena de cardiología

On-line version ISSN 0718-8560


SOLAR, Carlos; PIZARRO, Isabel  and  ROMAN, Domingo. High levels of Arsenic in cardiovascular tissues of residents from contaminated areas of northern Chile. Rev Chil Cardiol [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.1, pp.41-47. ISSN 0718-8560.

Introduction: Chronic contamination from arsenic observed in Antofagasta (northern Chile) has been related to increased prevalence of different health problems, foremost among them cardiovascular disease. The present work describes concentrations of arsenic and derived species in cardiovascular tissues obtained at the time of cardiac surgery. The relation of arsenic concentrations and histological damage is described Method: Tissues obtained during performance of coronary artery surgery including saphenous vein (SV), mammary artery (MA), right atrium (RA) and adipose tissue (AT)were obtained from 250 subjects living in Antofagasta (exposed group) and 25 patients from central Chile (non exposed group). Total As levels were determined through atomic absorption spectrometry, and species found in different tissues were identified by ionic chromatography associated to mass spectrometry. Histological samples were stained with H-E, Masson trichromic and Giesson orsein. Results: Arsenic concentrations in the RA were 6,06 ± 1,90 μg/g and 2,26 ± 1,30 μg/g in the exposed and no exposed groups, respectively (p<0.05). Inorganic species of AS were found in the RA whereas methylated species were found in SV and MA. In exposed subject's SV, different grades of concentric intimal fibrosis were observed. Conclusion: The presence of inorganic species, the high As concentration and cardiovascular tissue damage represent the serious contamination affecting the Antofagasta region.

Keywords : Arsenic; human chronic contamination; cardiovascular tissue levels.

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