Aspirin Improves Endothelial Dysfunction in Atherosclerosis

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Abstract

Background

The beneficial effects of aspirin in atherosclerosis are generally attributed to its antiplatelet activities, but its influence on endothelial function remains uncertain. We hypothesized that a cyclooxygenase-dependent constricting factor contributes to the endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerosis and that its action can be reversed by aspirin.

Conclusions

Cyclooxygenase-dependent, endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor release modulates acetylcholine-induced peripheral vasodilation in patients with atherosclerosis. Improvement of endothelial dysfunction with aspirin may improve vasodilation, reduce thrombosis, and inhibit progression of atherosclerosis and provides a pathophysiological basis for the beneficial effects of aspirin in atherosclerosis. (Circulation. 1998;97:716-720.)

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