Chapter 1

Circulating Biomarkers of Vulnerable Atheromatous Plaques

Xinkang Wang

Abstract

Rupture of atherosclerotic plaques is a major cause of cardiovascular events, including acute coronary syndromes, myocardial infarction and stroke. Identification of the vulnerable plaques is one of the most important steps leading to the treatment of patients with the disease. In spite of a considerable effort in identifying patients with vulnerable plaque, including the use of both circulatory and imaging biomarkers to delineate the molecular, cellular, and structural components and/or evolution of atherosclerosis and plaque vulnerability, it still lacks of such a specific biomarker for this disease. This review will focus on recent advances on discovery of circulating markers in atherosclerosis and hope that some of these markers might be of values to assess vulnerable atheromatous plaques. It is hoped that these biomarkers may be able to facilitate disease diagnosis and the development of new therapeutics to treat vulnerable plaque and its consequence of cardiovascular diseases.

Total Pages: 3-21 (19)

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