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      Atherosclerotic Expansive Remodeled Plaques: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

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          Abstract

          Geometric arterial remodeling is an important determinant of luminal narrowing in atherosclerotic disease. Expansive remodeling retards while constrictive remodeling accelerates luminal narrowing by plaque formation. Cross-sectional as well as follow-up studies revealed that expansive remodeling is associated with adverse cardiovascular events and a vulnerable plaque phenotype. Although the relation between expansive remodeling and plaque vulnerability is associative rather than causal, expansively remodeled plaques should be considered as a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Further understanding of the processes that regulate arterial remodeling and plaque rupture may lead to new strategies to responsibly manipulate these processes for the benefit of patient outcomes.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Statins selectively inhibit leukocyte function antigen-1 by binding to a novel regulatory integrin site.

          The beta2 integrin leukocyte function antigen-1 (LFA-1) has an important role in the pathophysiology of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Here we report that statin compounds commonly used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia selectively blocked LFA-1-mediated adhesion and costimulation of lymphocytes. This effect was unrelated to the statins' inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A reductase; instead it occurred via binding to a novel allosteric site within LFA-1. Subsequent optimization of the statins for LFA-1 binding resulted in potent, selective and orally active LFA-1 inhibitors that suppress the inflammatory response in a murine model of peritonitis. Targeting of the statin-binding site of LFA-1 could be used to treat diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ischemia/reperfusion injury and transplant rejection.
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            Morphological predictors of arterial remodeling in coronary atherosclerosis.

            Although arterial remodeling in atherosclerotic arteries affects luminal patency, the role of plaque components has not been systematically studied. Coronary segments (n=2885) were harvested from the hearts of 36 patients who died of severe coronary artery disease after perfusion fixation. Remodeling was determined by morphometric analysis of 657 sections selected as reference segments and 1318 segments with atheromatous plaques. Atherosclerotic plaques were identified as fibroatheroma, thin-cap fibroatheroma, intraplaque hemorrhage with or without rupture or erosion, or total occlusion. Plaque components consisted of calcification, lipid core, macrophage burden, and fibrosis. There was no correlation between plaque area and lumen size in proximal arteries, unlike middle and distal segments, which demonstrated a significant correlation. Marked expansion of the internal elastic lamina (IEL) occurred in plaque hemorrhages with or without and thin-cap fibroatheroma (vulnerable plaque), whereas in erosions and total occlusions there was shrinkage of the IEL. Macrophage burden, lipid core size, calcium (in fibrous plaque and lipid core), and medial atrophy were all associated with positive remodeling; fibrous areas, however, were negatively associated with remodeling. Inflammation, calcification, and medial thinning are primary determinants of positive remodeling, which appears to be a feature of plaque instability.
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              Contribution of inadequate compensatory enlargement to development of human coronary artery stenosis: an in vivo intravascular ultrasound study.

              This intravascular ultrasound study sought to examine to what extent native coronary artery stenosis is accompanied by vessel wall thickening or inadequate compensatory enlargement (relative vessel constriction), or both. In human femoral arteries, inadequate compensatory enlargement is reported to be a paradoxic mechanism for the development of severe arterial lumen narrowing. However, it is unclear in human coronary arteries whether inadequate compensatory enlargement contributes to the development of critical arterial stenosis. Thirty-five primary coronary artery lesions from 30 patients (19 men, 11 women; mean [+/- SD] age 65 +/- 13 years) were imaged by intravascular ultrasound. The vessel cross-sectional area and lumen area were measured, and the wall area (vessel cross-sectional area minus lumen area) was calculated at the lesion site and at the proximal and distal reference sites. We defined compensatory enlargement to be present when the vessel cross-sectional area at the lesion site was larger than that at the proximal reference site, inadequate compensatory enlargement when the vessel cross-sectional area at the lesion site was smaller than that at the distal reference site and intermediate remodeling when the vessel cross-sectional area at the lesion site was intermediate between the two reference sites. Compensatory enlargement was observed in 19 (54%) of 35 lesions, inadequate compensatory enlargement in 9 (26%) of 35 and intermediate remodeling in 7 (20%) of 35. In the inadequate compensatory enlargement group, reduction of the vessel cross-sectional area contributed to 39% of lumen reduction. Compensatory enlargement commonly (54%) occurs at stenotic coronary lesions. However inadequate compensatory enlargement results in a substantial amount (39%) of the lumen area reduction in 26% of primary coronary artery lesions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JVR
                J Vasc Res
                10.1159/issn.1018-1172
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                1018-1172
                1423-0135
                2002
                December 2002
                17 January 2003
                : 39
                : 6
                : 514-523
                Affiliations
                aLaboratory of Experimental Cardiology, University Medical Center and the Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands, Utrecht, The Netherlands, and bDivision of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Conn., USA
                Article
                67204 J Vasc Res 2002;39:514–523
                10.1159/000067204
                12566977
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 68, Pages: 10
                Categories
                Research Paper

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