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Calcium Antagonists for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis

  • P. D. Henry
Conference paper


Current information indicates that calcium antagonists exert antiatherosclerotic effects in animals fed high-fat diets [1–3]. In several studies, structurally disparate calcium antagonists including nifedipine [4], verapamil [5], and diltiazem [6] have been reported to suppress the formation of atherosclerotic lesions developing within weeks after the onset of cholesterol feeding. In addition, nifedipine has been shown to inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis in Rhesus monkeys maintained for 1 year on an atherogenic diet [7]. Two controlled clinical trails using quantitative coronary arteriography to monitor the progression of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with symptomatic ischemic heart disease have been recently completed [8, 9]. Results indicate that treatment with nifedipine [8] or nicardipine [9] suppresses the development of new or small occlusive lesions. These clinical reports have generated new interest in the study of calcium antagonists as antiatherogenic agents. Here, we review possible mechanisms by which calcium antagonists could exert their antiatherosclerotic effects.


Calcium Antagonist Aortic Smooth Muscle Cell Anti Atherosclerotic Effect Antiatherosclerotic Effect Cholesteryl Ester Hydrolase Activity 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

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  • P. D. Henry

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