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atherosclerosis imaging, metabolic syndrome, subclinical CAD



  1. Schoenhagen, Paul MD, FAHA
  2. Nissen, Steven E. MD, FACC


The metabolic syndrome and imaging of subclinical coronary artery disease are novel approaches to identify cardiovascular risk at an early disease stage before the onset of complications. The metabolic syndrome is defined as a combination of major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors that are related to underlying insulin resistance. These risk factors accelerate atherosclerotic disease progression and increase the risk for future cardiovascular events. Atherosclerosis imaging visualizes the presence of subclinical disease burden many years before the onset of symptoms. The early identification of asymptomatic persons with increased cardiovascular risk provides the opportunity to prevent of future disease complications. The relationship between the metabolic syndrome and sublinical disease burden is incompletely understood. Although further evaluation of the potential role for the emerging biomarkers and imaging techniques in the setting of the metabolic syndrome is needed, it is obvious that cardiovascular nurses need to develop a heightened awareness of patients at risk for future events.