Affiliation: Division of Interventional Cardiology, Tufts Medical Center, 750 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
Dating back to the early 1900s, clinical observations have pointed towards an intimate relationship between dyslipidemia, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Despite a focus on aggressive lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in patients at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, only moderate reductions in cardiovascular events have been achieved, suggesting other targets of therapy should be investigated. Over the past two decades pre-clinical and clinical data have demonstrated a direct correlation between inflammation and atheroma development. This review provides a detailed understanding of inflammation in atherogenesis with a particular emphasis on clinical studies correlating markers of inflammation with plaque progression using carotid intima-media thickness measurements and intravascular ultrasound.