Update on advances in atherothrombosis

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The study of atherothrombosis is a rapidly evolving field, and significant progress was achieved in various aspects of the disease during the past year. In the area of diagnostic imaging, MRI and multidetector CT were actively used to evaluate the characteristics of the arterial wall, including calcified and noncalcified lesions, and both in the coronary and extracoronary vascular territories. There was also extensive research into the application of imaging modalities to visualize cellular or molecular disease processes, known as molecular imaging. Considerable efforts were devoted to the identification of novel biomarkers that reflect different components of atherothrombosis, namely inflammation, thrombogenicity, oxidative stress and reparative ability, predicting the presence of early disease or the risk of clinical events. In the therapeutic arena, substantial evidence accumulated on the beneficial effects of several pharmacologic agents, most significantly statins. Finally, important advances were also made in the understanding of the roles of immunity and neovascularization in atherogenesis, including the development and progression of disease at different stages. Awareness of these recent advances and new lines of active research is fundamental for health professionals involved in the care of patients with atherothrombosis. In this Review we present an overview of data in these areas.

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