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ESC calls for research into vulnerable plaques
Date:6/14/2011

Sophia Antipolis, France: Tuesday 14 June : The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology has published a position paper to raise the profile of vulnerable plaques and the need for greater use of therapies to promote plaque stabilisation. The position paper, published online today in Thrombosis and Haemostasis, is also calling for more research into the causes of plaque rupture, and for the development of better diagnostics and treatments.

"We want more medical professionals to understand the concept that stabilising vulnerable plaques offers a fundamental approach to preventing cardiovascular events," said Seppo Yl-Herttuala, chairman of the position paper task force. Indeed, he added, several statin trials for secondary prevention have reported a reduction in cardiovascular events, and furthermore anti platelet therapies have been shown to have a beneficial effect.

"Introducing stabilisation of vulnerable plaques as part of secondary prevention would offer the opportunity to wipe out half of coronary events," said Yl-Herttuala, from University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio, Finland).

"Wide spread stabilization of vulnerable plaques would also have important socio economic implications dramatically reducing the need for invasive treatments," said Christian Weber, also a member of the working group.

The idea of vulnerable plaques is that not all plaques (the fatty deposits in arterial walls) are equal and that some are particularly prone to rupture and causing cardiovascular events . These plaques are not necessarily the same as those that cause symptoms such as angina. Explaining the concept of vulnerable plaques, Weber, from Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich, Germany) said that it is thought that inflammatory cells resulting from ongoing inflammation destabilise the structure of the plaque. "It is believed that they degrade the fibres that make the pla
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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-492-947-756
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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