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BMC Medicine

, 11:143

First Online: 04 June 2013Received: 22 February 2013Accepted: 17 May 2013DOI: 10.1186-1741-7015-11-143

Cite this article as: Meier, P., Schirmer, S.H., Lansky, A.J. et al. BMC Med 2013 11: 143. doi:10.1186-1741-7015-11-143


The coronary arteries have been regarded as end arteries for decades. However, there are functionally relevant anastomotic vessels, known as collateral arteries, which interconnect epicardial coronary arteries. These vessels provide an alternative source of blood supply to the myocardium in cases of occlusive coronary artery disease. The relevance of these collateral arteries is a matter of ongoing debate, but increasing evidence indicates a relevant protective role in patients with coronary artery disease. The collateral circulation can be assessed by different methods; the gold standard involves intracoronary pressure measurements. While the first clinical trials to therapeutically induce growth of collateral arteries have been unavailing, recent pilot studies using external counterpulsation or growth factors such as granulocyte colony stimulating factor G-CSF have shown promising results.

KeywordsAngiogenesis Arteriogenesis Coronary artery disease Coronary collateral circulation Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1741-7015-11-143 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Pascal Meier - Stephan H Schirmer - Alexandra J Lansky - Adam Timmis - Bertram Pitt - Christian Seiler


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