alexa Does the Role of Angiogenesis Play a Role in Atherosclerosis and Plaque Instability?
ISSN: 2161-0940

Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research
Open Access

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Review Article

Does the Role of Angiogenesis Play a Role in Atherosclerosis and Plaque Instability?

Patel A*

Department of Medicine, King's College, London, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Amisha Patel
Department of Medicine, King's College, London, UK
Tel: 07904 922 814
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: April 21, 2014; Accepted date: June 03, 2014; Published date: June 05, 2014

Citation: Patel A (2014) Does the Role of Angiogenesis play a Role in Atherosclerosis and Plaque Instability?. Anat Physiol 4:147. doi: 10.4172/2161-0940.1000147

Copyright: © 2014 Patel A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory vascular disease which begins as fatty streaks underlining the endothelium of large artery walls, usually coronary or carotid. It consists of endothelial dysfunction, the accumulation of lipid and cholesterol in the intima from a young age and the recruitment of inflammatory cells to sites of damage in the artery wall. The disease progresses through several stages, eventually resulting in the formation of a cholesterol rich plaque. The role of angiogenesis in atherosclerosis has been of growing interest over the last 20 years since experimental studies have not been able to support a causal relation. Angiogenesis involves hyperplasia of the vasa vasorum in the early stages of atherosclerosis which is thought to be angiogenesis independent, followed by intimal neovascularization in the late angiogenesis dependent stages of the disease. Angiogenesis increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the artery wall and supports initial plaque growth. Once the atherosclerotic plaque develops, intimal angiogenesis is thought to contribute to characteristics of an unstable plaque such as fibrous cap thinning, a cholesterol rich necrotic core, excess infiltration of inflammatory cells, plaque hemorrhage and the increased risk of plaque rupture. This account discusses the evidence behind the role of angiogenesis in atherosclerosis and plaque instability.

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