Current concepts in atherosclerosis
Alkhalil M., Choudhury RP.
© 2018, The Author(s). Atherosclerosis is a complex disease process. It is increasingly recognised that both lipoprotein retention and inflammatory cellular components are intricately related in the initiation and development of atherosclerotic plaque. LDL-c (cholesterol) has been long established as a cause for atherosclerosis; additionally, inflammatory cells such as monocytes and subsequently foam cells have also been directly linked to the progression of atherosclerotic disease. Emerging data suggest that structures outside vascular intima and media are also closely related to atherosclerosis. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) may be a determinant of the inflammatory status of the atherosclerotic plaque. All these features are becoming extremely relevant as therapies against atherosclerosis are targeting both lipid retention and inflammation. Recently, there has been some success in these novel therapies, such as the proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK-9) inhibitor evolocumab and the interleukin-1ß neutralising antibody, canakinumab, in reducing cardiovascular events when added to standard therapy such as statin. This review will discuss the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, including some novel features, and its management using new anti-atherosclerotic drugs.