1These authors equally contributed as last authors to the article.
Coronary artery calcification and cardiovascular risk: the role of RANKL/OPG signalling
Article first published online: 23 MAY 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation
European Journal of Clinical Investigation
Volume 40, Issue 7, pages 645–654, July 2010
How to Cite
Quercioli, A., Montecucco, F., Bertolotto, M., Ottonello, L., Pende, A., Mach, F. and Dallegri, F. (2010), Coronary artery calcification and cardiovascular risk: the role of RANKL/OPG signalling. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 40: 645–654. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2010.02308.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 23 MAY 2010
- Received 28 October 2009; accepted 11 April 2010
- Calcium score;
- coronary calcification;
Eur J Clin Invest 2010; 40 (7): 645–654
Background Coronary artery disease (CAD) represents the most relevant cause of death and morbidity in the adult population of developed and developing countries. During the last decades, a strong research effort has been performed to identify more selective markers and better assess the cardiovascular risk in both primary and secondary prevention.
Materials and methods This review updates current knowledge regarding the pathophysiological relevance as possible markers of coronary calcification of the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) system. Furthermore, the potential clinical use of both RANKL/OPG and coronary calcium score (CAC) to assess cardiovascular vulnerability has been discussed.
Results Emerging evidence indicates that atherosclerotic plaque calcification is positively correlated with vulnerability. Several inflammatory mediators have been shown to modulate arterial calcification, thus increasing the risk of plaque rupture. Among these factors, RANKL/OPG axis might be of particular interest as a promising biomarker of plaque vulnerability in subjects with diffuse coronary calcification.
Conclusion Together with clinical parameters of coronary calcification (such as CAC), circulating RANKL/OPG levels could contribute to better assess and predict cardiac events.