Cardiovascular disease is the principal cause of death in developed countries. The underlying pathological process is arterial wall thickening due to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, which is frequently complicated by thrombus, thereby giving rise to the possibility of acute coronary syndrome or stroke. One of the major challenges in cardiovascular medicine is to find a way of predicting the risk that an individual will suffer an acute thrombotic event. During the last few decades, there has been considerable interest in finding diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers that can be detected in blood. Of these, C-reactive protein is the best known. Others, such as the soluble CD40 ligand, can be used to predict cardiovascular events. However, to date, no biomarker has been generally accepted for use in clinical practice. At present, there are a number of high-performance techniques, such as proteomics, that have the ability to detect multiple potential biomarkers. In the near future, these approaches may lead to the discovery of new biomarkers that, when used with imaging techniques, could help improve our ability to predict the occurrence of acute vascular events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine