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This spotlight issue of Microcirculation contains five articles written from a clinical perspective on the role of microcirculatory abnormalities in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. The reviews address issues such as the impact of modifiable (life style and environmental risk factors) and non modifiable (age) on microvascular form and function; inter- and intra-cell signaling pathways underlying microvascular dysfunction; microvascular assessment as a prognostic tool in clinical practice; and the potential impact of targeted therapeutic intervention on microvascular health. The articles also describe and evaluate methodological approaches to the assessment of microvascular function in organs such as the skin, retina, muscle and adipose tissue, and provide a perspective on how such approaches might be employed in future in disease risk stratification in large epidemiological studies. This timely edition of the journal Microcirculation highlights that while there is currently no identified unifying mechanism to explain the association between microvascular phenotype and susceptibility to disease, there is accumulating evidence that deficits in microvascular structure and function may be an early and important prodromal indicator and risk determinant in a wide range of chronic non-communicable disorders, including cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


Geraldine Clough, Jean-Luc Cracowski. Spotlight issue: Microcirculation—from a clinical perspective. Microcirculation (New York, N.Y. : 1994). 2012 Jan;19(1):1-4

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PMID: 22295279

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