There is an abundance of information suggesting that prostaglandins are involved in the development and clinical expression of atherosclerosis. Many studies demonstrate a relationship between prostaglandins and the risk factors for peripheral and coronary artery disease. Thus, part of the mechanism by which hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, smoking, hypertension, sex hormones, age, heredity, emotional stress and diet contribute to the development and progression of atherosclerosis may be through an imbalance between thromboxane A2 and prostaglandin I2. Recent studies show a temporal relationship between acute ischemic events (specifically, unstable angina) and a transcardiac increase in thromboxane B2, while others demonstrate a salutary effect of disaggregatory and vasodilatory prostaglandins in such patients. If prostaglandins and thromboxane prove important in ischemic vascular disease, attention will be directed at the correction of their pathologic imbalance. This may be accomplished by dietary manipulation as well as by the development of prostaglandin receptor antagonists or inhibitors of specific prostaglandin pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas