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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2016 September;60(3):185-93

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Inflammation: a trigger for acute coronary syndrome

Hendrik B. SAGER 1, Matthias NAHRENDORF 2, 3

1 German Heart Center Munich, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Munich, Germany; 2 Center for Systems Biology and Department of Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 3 Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


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Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the vessel wall and a major cause of death worldwide. One of atherosclerosis’ most dreadful complications are acute coronary syndromes that comprise ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and unstable angina. We now understand that inflammation substantially contributes to the initiation, progression, and destabilization of atherosclerosis. In this review, we will focus on the role of inflammatory leukocytes, which are the cellular protagonists of vascular inflammation, in triggering disease progression and, ultimately, the destabilization that causes acute coronary syndromes.

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