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MINERVA PNEUMOLOGICA

A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
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Minerva Pneumologica 2006 September;45(3):137-44

language: Italian

Role of vascular remodeling in asthma

Chetta A. 1, Zanini A. 2, Torre O. 1, Olivieri D. 1

1 Sezione di Clinica Pneumologica, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Università di Parma, Parma
2 Divisione di Pneumologia, Fondazione Maugeri, Tradate, Varese


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Bronchial wall can be markedly changed in asthma and structural changes are defined as airway remodeling. The vascular component of airway remodeling can remarkably contribute to the airway wall thickness and change. The main structural and functional changes of the airway microcirculation include the proliferation of new vessels, the increased blood flow and microvascular permeability, and edema formation in the airway wall. A key role in the angiogenesis process of asthmatic airways is played by the vascular endothelial growth factor, which is a mediator released by endothelial cells as well as by some inflammatory cells involved in asthmatic inflammation. Among anti-asthma drugs, only the inhaled corticosteroids are able to significantly reverse the three aspects of vascular remodeling, such as angiogenesis, vasodilatation and vascular leakage. This review focuses on the morphological aspects and the mechanism of airway remodeling in asthma, as well as its pharmacological modulation.

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