• Y. Nishizawa
  • H. Koyama


Atherosclerosis is a cause of cardiovascular disease, one of the most common causes of death. Since high plasma concentrations of cholesterol are one of the principal risk factors for atherosclerosis, the process of atherogenesis has been considered to mainly consist of the accumulation of lipids within the arterial wall. Recently, in broad outline, atherosclerosis can be considered to be a form of chronic inflammation resulting from the interaction between modified lipoproteins, monocyte-derived macrophages, T cells, and the normal cellular elements of the arterial wall [1]. This inflammatory process can ultimately lead to the development of complex lesions, or plaques, which are frequently associated with calcium accumulation (calcification). Importantly, these complexed lesions are sometimes complicated with plaque rupture and thrombosis, resulting in the acute clinical complications of myocardial infarction and stroke. Calcium deposition in atherosclerosis lesions is known to occur just after fatty streak formation. Microscopic analysis has shown small aggregates of crystalline calcium among the lipid particles of lipid cores in lesions of young adults [2]. Deposition of calcium is found in greater amounts in elderly and more advanced lesions. Atherosclerotic calcification is now known to be an organised, regulated process similar to bone formation that occurs only when other aspects of atherosclerosis are also present [3]. Osteocalcin, osteopontin and its mRNA and bone mor- phogenetic protein-2a, known to be involved in bone mineralisation and osteoblastic differentiation, have been identified in calcified atherosclerotic lesions.


Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Calcium Channel Blocker Coronary Artery Calcium Primary Hyperparathyroidism Coronary Artery Calcium Score 
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  • Y. Nishizawa
  • H. Koyama

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