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Minerva Medica 2010 August;101(4):271-84

language: English

Endothelial dysfunction: potential clinical implications

Tousoulis D., Koutsogiannis M., Papageorgiou N., Siasos G., Antoniades C., Tsiamis E., Stefanadis C.

1st Cardiology Unit, Hippokration Hospital, Athens University Medical School Athens, Greece


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Vascular endothelium is responsible for the secretion of several substances exerting anti-atherogenic effects. Endothelial damage is also crucial for the progress of atherosclerosis and risk factors for atherosclerosis represent crucial factors associated with endothelial dysfunction. Studies have shown that patients with cardiovascular disease are characterized by impaired endothelial function (EF). Therefore, several agents have been proposed as potential modulators of EF. Most of the available approaches include pharmaceutical agents routinely used such as statins, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, antioxidants, L-arginine, insulin sensitizers or others still under investigation such as tetrahydrobiopterin or folic acid (folate). Despite of the fact that there are several strategies aiming to improve endothelial dysfunction by enhancing nitric oxide bioavailability, it is still unclear whether they could be beneficial at a clinical level.

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