Vasculitides are characterized by inflammation and necrosis of blood vessels leading to vessel occlusion and ischemic damages of tissues. The final result is myointimal proliferation, fibrosis and thrombus formation leading to stenosis or occlusion of the vascular lumen, and finally to vascular ischemia. Moreover, in these diseases the hypoxic environment subsequent to stenosis or occlusion of the vascular lumen is a potent signal for the generation of new blood vessels. Endothelial cell diversity has crucial implications for vascular diseases’ development. Systemic vasculitides target distinct segments and branches of the vascular tree as well as selective vascular beds, and thrombotic or haemorrhagic conditions recognize specific vascular beds as the sites of disease occurrence. Potential implications for the pathogenesis of vascular metabolic diseases like atherogenesis are also strong.
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