The rising epidemic of cardiovascular (CV) disease is fuelled by obesity, hypertension and diabetes and, independently and cumulatively, by an aging population. Extensive research identified immunoinflammatory mechanisms as key drivers in the initiation and progression of the disease, from early asymptomatic stages of vascular and myocardial injury leading to the clinically manifest dysfunction and remodeling in advanced stages. Underlying processes include endothelial dysfunction and extracellular matrix restructuration leading to increased vascular stiffness, as well as myocardial remodeling with dilatation and wall thinning. In this, overproduction of tumor necrosis factor-α, amongst others, contributes to generalized CV injury and dysfunction. Moreover, recent insights into the involvement of innate and adaptive immunity in atherosclerosis have shed light on many interesting parallels with chronic systemic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, with aggravated inflammation-induced vascular and myocardial injury. Besides, chronologic age has been identified as a potent, independent risk for reduced CV capacity and a plethora of heart diseases, with other modifiable risk factors acting as accelerators. We discuss the available evidence and propose that characterization of inflammatory CV responses might reveal a distinctive CV inflammatory phenotype. A comprehensive noninvasive bio-signature, comprising immunomic biomarkers and integrated noninvasive imaging, may serve as a potential tool in the early diagnosis and prognostication of CV risk.
© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Cardiovascular disease
- Inflammation, myocardial
- Imaging, integrated, noninvasive
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Dr. Valentina O. Puntmann, Cardiovascular Section
Department of Experimental Medicine, Division of Investigative Sciences
Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, Burlington Danes Building
5th Floor, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN (UK)
Tel. +44 207 594 6825, Fax +44 207 594 7393, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: November 5, 2009
Accepted: April 7, 2010
Published online: June 11, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 40
Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)
Vol. 57, No. 4, Year 2011 (Cover Date: June 2011)
Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304-324X (Print), eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)
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