Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 150–154

Coronary arterial remodeling: From bench to bedside


  • Paul Schoenhagen
    • The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Steven E. Nissen
    • The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • E. Murat Tuzcu
    • The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

DOI: 10.1007/s11883-003-0088-9

Cite this article as:
Schoenhagen, P., Nissen, S.E. & Tuzcu, E.M. Curr Atheroscler Rep (2003) 5: 150. doi:10.1007/s11883-003-0088-9


Coronary arterial remodeling describes changes of vessel size at the site of atherosclerotic lesions. Positive remodeling (expansion) of early lesions maintains lumen size despite plaque accumulation. In contrast, negative remodeling (shrinkage) contributes to luminal stenosis independent of plaque accumulation. Because of these adaptive changes, plaque progression/regression is not closely reflected in luminal size. Histologic studies have demonstrated that the pathophysiologic role of arterial remodeling is more complex than a mere compensatory process. Surprisingly, there is a consistent association between positive arterial remodeling, local inflammatory response, and plaque vulnerability. In vivo tomographic imaging techniques, in particular intravascular ultrasound, and potentially computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, allow the observation of remodeling in clinical settings. The integration of basic knowledge about arterial remodeling with clinical observations from in vivo imaging could lead to a better understanding of plaque progression, regression, and vulnerability and may eventually have implications for disease prevention.

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© Current Science Inc. 2003