Rev Med Interne. 2012 Nov 15. pii: S0248-8663(12)01085-5. doi: 10.1016/j.revmed.2012.10.364. [Epub ahead of print]

Gouëffic Y, Davaine JM, Merlini T, Rimbert A, Hérisson F, Heymann MF, Heymann D, Steenman M, Lambert G.


More and more clinical observations and trials support the concept of heterogeneity of atheroma according to the arterial bed. In a pilot study named "Étude Comparative des Lésions Athéromateuses" (ECLA), we have shown that carotid and femoral plaques possess different characteristics. Carotid arteries display increased lipid content compared to femoral arteries whereas femoral arteries are more prone to calcify and to develop osteoid metaplasia. These observations should lead the researcher and the clinician to look at the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the heterogeneity of atheromas. At last, a better understanding of the characteristics of plaques should help us to determine plaque stability, to prevent cardiovascular events and to choose the best medical, endovascular or surgical option.