Sonodynamic therapy: A potential treatment for atherosclerosis

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Atherosclerosis (AS), a chronic arterial disease, is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Several treatment modalities have been demonstrated to be effective in treating AS; however, the mortality rate due to AS remains high. Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) is a promising new treatment using low-intensity ultrasound in combination with sonosensitizers. Although SDT was developed from photodynamic therapy (PDT), it has a stronger tissue-penetrating capability and exhibits a more focused effect on the target lesional site requiring treatment. Furthermore, SDT has been demonstrated to suppress the formation of atheromatous plaques, and it can increase plaque stability both in vitro and in vivo. In this article, we critically summarize the recent literature on SDT, focusing on its possible mechanism of action as well as the existing and newly discovered sonosensitizers and chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of AS.

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