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Rev Esp Cardiol. 1999 Nov;52(11):990-1003.

[Ischemic cardiopathy: inflammation markers and the cardiovascular risk].

[Article in Spanish]

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Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona.


In recent years it has been established that inflammation is a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and in coronary artery disease progression. Inflammation is a host response to a wide variety of tissue injuries. A persistent or continually repeated insult will lead to chronic inflammation which may result in tissue destruction and/or loss of normal organ function. Atherosclerosis and other pathologies involving inflammation are associated with increased levels of cytokines, which in turn raise acute-phase proteins levels in blood (acute inflammation markers, i.e. fibrinogen and C-reactive protein). It has been shown recently that concentrations of these proteins are higher in individuals at increased risk of developing cardiac events in the years to come. This is true both in apparently healthy men and women and in ischaemic heart disease patients. CRP is currently the inflammatory marker which appears to have captured the investigators' attention around the globe. In this report we review the current data on the relationship between atherosclerosis and inflammation, with special attention to cytokines and acute phase reactants. The use of acute phase reactants as prognostic risk markers in ischaemic heart disease is also discussed.

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