Pathophysiology of Acute Coronary Syndrome

  • Carlos G. Santos-Gallego
  • Belen Picatoste
  • Juan José Badimón
Coronary Heart Disease (JA Farmer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Coronary Heart Disease


Despite improvements in interventional and pharmacological therapy for atherosclerotic disease, it is still the leading cause of death in the developed world. Hence, there is a need for further development of more effective therapeutic approaches. This requires better understanding of the molecular mechanisms and pathophysiology of the disease. Recent research in the last decade has changed our view of acute coronary syndrome (ACS): from a mere lipid deposition to an inflammatory disease; from ACS exclusively due to plaque rupture to the novel definitions of plaque erosion or calcified nodule; from the notion of a superimposed thrombus with necessary lethal consequences to the concept of healed plaques and thrombus contributing to plaque progression. In the hope of improving our understanding of ACS, all these recently discovered concepts are reviewed in this article.


Acute coronary syndrome Pathophysiology Atherosclerosis Plaque rupture Plaque erosion Calcified nodule Macrophage Platelet Inflammation Innate immune response Adaptative immune response 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Carlos G. Santos-Gallego, Belen Picatoste, and Juan José Badimón declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos G. Santos-Gallego
    • 1
  • Belen Picatoste
    • 1
  • Juan José Badimón
    • 1
  1. 1.Atherothrombosis Research Unit, The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular InstituteIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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