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Ciccarone Center Research
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- Meet the Authors
Low zinc levels is associated with increased inflammatory activity but not with atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis or endothelial dysfunction among the very elderly.
Reduced zinc intake has been related to atherogenesis and arteriosclerosis. We verified this assumption in very old individuals, who are particularly prone to both zinc deficiency and structural and functional changes in the arterial wall. Although plasma zinc level is inversely related to systemic inflammatory activity, its plasma levels of daily intake are not associated to alterations in structure or function of the arterial wall. In the very elderly, plasma concentrations or daily intake of zinc is not related to endothelial dysfunction, arteriosclerosis, or atherosclerotic burden at coronary or carotid arteries.
Non-invasive detection of coronary endothelial response to sequential handgrip exercise in coronary artery disease patients and healthy adults.
This study showed that coronary endothelial function does not change with repeated isometric handgrip stress in CAD patients or healthy subjects.
Regional coronary endothelial function is closely related to local early coronary atherosclerosis in patients with mild coronary artery disease: pilot study.
There is an inverse relationship between coronary endothelial function and local coronary wall thickness in patients with coronary artery disease but not in healthy adults. These findings demonstrate that local endothelial-dependent functional changes are related to the extent of early anatomic atherosclerosis in mildly diseased arteries. This combined MRI approach enables the anatomic and functional investigation of early coronary disease.
Vitamin D in atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and endothelial function.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, MI, CVA, and related mortality, even after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Accumulating evidence from experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggests that vitamin D may also be associated with several indices of vascular function, including the development and progression of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. These findings may provide at least a partial explanation for several recent epidemiologic studies implicating low vitamin D status in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. However, large-scale, well-conducted, placebo controlled clinical trials testing the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in delaying, slowing, or reversing the atherosclerotic disease process have not yet been conducted. Until the results of these studies are available, we believe it is premature to recommend vitamin D as a therapeutic option in atherosclerosis.
Endothelial function and dysfunction.
Vascular endothelium is a vast dynamic paracrine system that regulates several key biologic and molecular functions serving to maintain vascular health and homeostasis. Ongoing research in the development and application of noninvasive imaging techniques to measure endothelial function and dysfunction continues to focus on therapeutic strategies and prognosis.
Noninvasive visualization of coronary artery endothelial function in healthy subjects and in patients with coronary artery disease.
The goal was to test 2 hypotheses: first, that coronary endothelial function can be measured non-invasively and abnormal function detected using clinical 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and second, that the extent of local CAD, in a given patient, is related to the degree of local abnormal coronary endothelial function. We concluded that endothelial-dependent coronary artery dilation and increased blood flow in healthy subjects, and their absence in CAD patients, can now be directly visualized and quantified non-invasively. Local coronary endothelial function differs between severely and mildly diseased arteries in a given CAD patient. This novel, safe method may offer new insights regarding the importance of local coronary endothelial function and improved risk stratification in patients at risk for and with known CAD.
Vitamin D in atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and endothelial function
Large-scale, well-conducted, placebo-controlled clinical trials testing the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in delaying, slowing, or reversing the atherosclerotic disease process have not yet been conducted. Until the results of these studies are available, we believe it is premature to recommend vitamin D as a therapeutic option in atherosclerosis.