Inflammation Is Associated With Myocardial Ischaemia

Kushal Pujara, Ashan Gunarathne, Anthony H Gershlick


Br J Cardiol. 2015;22(3):101-104. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease (CHD). Several inflammatory cytokines have shown a direct association with the development of atherosclerosis. Recently, there have been a number of experimental studies exploring the potential anti-inflammatory role of currently used therapeutic agents including antibiotics, immuno-suppressive drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. This review summarises the available evidence base and the potential role of these agents in current clinical practice.


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Chronic subclinical inflammation is a key recognised process in the pathogenesis of CHD, and may play an important role in atherogenesis.

Atherosclerosis is a complex multi-factorial disease process, which is initiated at the endothelium in response to various forms of injurious stimuli (shear stress, oxidative stress, arterial pressure changes) including inflammation. These factors appear to alter the endothelial cell's capacity to maintain homeostasis and vascular tone and leads to the so-called endothelial 'dysfunction', predisposing to the development of atherosclerosis. Inflammation appears to act as a significant trigger in the atherosclerotic plaque rupture (see figure 1), preceding acute cardiac events.

Figure 1.

Atherosclerotic plaque rupture
Courtesy of Dr Mary Sheppard