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Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease.
N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1685-95. Article
Recent research has shown that inflammation plays a key role in coronary artery disease (CAD) and other manifestations of atherosclerosis. Immune cells dominate early atherosclerotic lesions, their effector molecules accelerate progression of the lesions, and activation of inflammation can elicit acute coronary syndromes. This review highlights the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic CAD. It will recount the evidence that atherosclerosis, the main cause of CAD, is an inflammatory disease in which immune mechanisms interact with metabolic risk factors to initiate, propagate, and activate lesions in the arterial tree.