Chapter 9

The Vascular Tree and Heart with Relationship to Inflammation

Bruce D. Spiess

Abstract

The circulatory system is made up of blood, the heart (a pump) and miles of biologically dynamically involved conduit- the vasculature. The interaction of cellular elements of the blood with the endothelial lining of the vasculature controls so many short and long term inflammatory processes that this system is complex and just now being understood in terms of its cellular biology and biochemistry. Atherosclerosis is the largest killer of persons in developed cultures. The inflammation of atherosclerosis is indicative of the complexity that can occur within the vascular tree. This chapter will examine the dynamic interactions of endothelium, coagulation and inflammation with a focus upon how perturbations of these systems play in creating disease. We will mention a bit about systemic inflammatory autoimmune diseases and note how these create vascular manifestations.

Total Pages: 180-219 (40)

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