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New evidences for C-reactive protein (CRP) deposits in the arterial intima as a cardiovascular risk factor

Authors Montecucco F, Mach F

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:3(2) Pages 341—349


Fabrizio Montecucco, François Mach

Division of Cardiology, Foundation for Medical Research, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland

Abstract: Inflammatory processes are orchestrated by several soluble molecules, which interact with cell populations involved. Cytokines, chemokines, acute-phase reactants, and hormones are crucial in the evolution of several inflammatory disorders, such as atherosclerosis. Several evidences suggest that C-reactive protein (CRP) started to be considered as a cardiovascular risk factor, since CRP directly induces atheroslerosis development. The recent demonstration of CRP production not only by the liver, but also within atherosclerotic plaques by activated vascular cells, also suggests a possible dual role, as both a systemic and tissue agent. Although more studies are needed, some therapeutic approaches to reduce CRP levels have been performed with encouraging results. However, given the strong limitations represented by its low specificity and still accordingly with the American Heart Association, there is no need for high sensitivity CRP screening of the entire adult population as a public-health measure. The measure of serum CRP might be useful only for patients who are considered at intermediate risk.

Keywords: atherosclerosis, inflammation, plaque, cardiovascular risk, C-reactive protein

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