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Arch Cardiol Mex. 2007 Oct-Dec;77 Suppl 4:S4-16-22.

[Inflammation and plaque instability].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya, Málaga, España.


The mechanisms that regulate the stability of the atheroma plaque are a new focus of interest to understand the pathophysiology of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and its therapy. Up to 75% of ACS are clinical expression of an unstable plaque rupture. The identification of unstable or so called vulnerable plaque (VP) became an interesting target, since they are the substrate of eventual future events. The VP determinant factors are: the size and consistence of lipid core, thickness of fibrous cap around this core, and the balance inflammation- reparation inside this cap. Inflammation plays a starring role in every single atherosclerosis stage. High sensitivity C - reactive protein (hs-CRP) is one of the most used markers of inflammation. We determined hs-CRP in 104 patients. The elevation of this marker was 5.85 mg/L in stable angina, 19.92 in non ST elevation ACS, and 50.41 mg/L in whom that presented ACS with ST elevation. (p < 0.01). The majority of coronary occlusion occurs in previously non-significant (< 70%) angiographic stenosis. Therefore, the current challenge is to identify and treat VP using whether invasive or non-invasive methods. This lead to a new concept: the "vulnerable patient". Using these new diagnostic techniques, along with the information obtained from clinical trials in course, we should be able to prevent future coronary events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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