Inflammation plays a critical role in the vascular response to injury. In particular, mechanical injury using tech-niques such as balloon angioplasty and stenting results in complex inflammatory reactions which influence proliferation of vessel wall constituents such as endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and extracellular matrix proteins. Inflammatory cells are recruited to the injured vessel wall initially as a repara-tive mechanism; however, these same imflammatory processes are also pivotal in the development of restenotic lesions. Leuko-cytes serve as the primary inflammatory cells but we now know that platelets produce a number of important inflammatory mediators. This review describes the mechanisms that regulate endothelial cell migration, smooth muscle cell activation, and extracellular matrix protein production, all of which are key components in the inflammatory response to vascular injury.
- Balloon angioplasty
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