Regression of Coronary Atherosclerosis in Man
There is abundant evidence that it is possible to bring about some degree of regression of experimentally-induced atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries in animals (see Armstrong, 1976, for review). Much of the published work on regression of atherosclerosis induced in animals by diets, with or without concomitant injury to the arterial walls, has been concerned with the reversal of lesions that bear more resemblance to fatty streaks than to the fully developed lesions associated with ischaemic heart disease in man. However, there can be no doubt that lesions in the coronary arteries, closely resembling the naturally-occurring human atheromatous lesion, can be induced in monkeys by the prolonged feeding of cholesterol-rich diets, and that withdrawal of the dietary regimen may result in partial regression of the lesions, with widening of the lumen, loss of intimal lipid and, possibly, a decrease in the amount of collagen in the arterial wall (Armstrong et al., 1970; Vesselinovitch et al., 1976; Stary et al., 1977). A survey of the relevant literature suggests that the time taken to bring about regression of experimentally-induced atherosclerosis by withdrawal of the atherogenic regimen is at least as long as the time taken to induce the atherosclerosis (Vesselinovitch and Wissler, 1977), and that in order to induce significant regression in monkeys the plasma cholesterol concentration must be reduced to less than 200 mg/100 ml throughout the regression period (Bond et al., 1977).
KeywordsAortic Root Plasma Exchange Plasma Cholesterol Coronary Atherosclerosis Plasma Cholesterol Level
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