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International Angiology 2010 February;29(1):27-9

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Periodontitis and carotid atheroma: is there a causal relationship?

Tzorbatzoglou I. D. 1, Sfyroeras G. S. 2, Giannoukas A. D. 2

1 Department of Vascular Surgery, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece; 2 Department of Vascular Surgery, University of Thessaly Medical School, University Hospital of Larissa, Mezourlo, Larissa, Greece


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Periodontal diseases are highly prevalent in the population. Several studies implicated that chronic periodontitis may affect the arterial wall inducing subclinical atherosclerosis by triggering a systemic inflammatory response. Three theories have been put forward to explain potential mechanisms involved: the theory of bacterial invasion, the cytokine theory and the autoimmunization theory. Periodontal inflammation could have a role in the initiation and progression of arterial diseases such as coronary artery disease and carotid atherosclerosis. Further clinical studies are required to investigate if there is a causal relationship of chronic periodontitis with echolucent unstable carotid plaques.

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