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Chin Med J (Engl). 2011 Nov;124(21):3568-75.

Inflammation in coronary artery diseases.

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Divison of Dyslipidemia, Cardiovascular Medicine, Fu Wai Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100037, China.


The concept that atherosclerosis is an inflammation has been increasingly recognized, and subsequently resulted in great interest in revealing the inflammatory nature of the atherosclerotic process. More recently, a large body of evidence has supported the idea that inflammatory mechanisms play a pivotal role throughout all phases of atherogenesis, from endothelial dysfunction and the formation of fatty streaks to plaque destabilization and the acute coronary events due to vulnerable plaque rupture. Indeed, although triggers and pathways of inflammation are probably multiple and vary in different clinical entities of atherosclerotic disorders, an imbalance between anti-inflammatory mechanisms and pro-inflammatory factors will result in an atherosclerotic progression. Vascular endothelial dysfunction and lipoprotein retention into the arterial intima have been reported as the earliest events in atherogenesis with which inflammation is linked. Inflammatory has also been extended to the disorders of coronary microvasculature, and associated with special subsets of coronary artery disease such as silent myocardial ischemia, myocardial ischemia-reperfusion, cardiac syndrome X, variant angina, coronary artery ectasia, coronary calcification and in-stent restenosis. Inflammatory biomarkers, originally studied to better understand the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, have generated increasing interest among researches and clinicians. The identification of inflammatory biomarkers and cellular/molecular pathways in atherosclerotic disease represent important goals in cardiovascular disease research, in particular with respect of the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent or reverse atherosclerotic diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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