Towards Point-of-Care Measurements Using Noncoding RNAs
A Novel Tool to Monitor Aggravation of Advanced Atherosclerotic Lesions
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Atherosclerosis progressively impairs functional integrity of the vasculature and, depending on which arteries are affected, can lead to a variety of serious complications. Roughly, one quarter of the Western population suffers from the consequences of carotid artery disease, such as a transient ischemic attack or stroke,1 which includes both neurological and cardiovascular complications. The atherosclerotic plaque, causing the narrowing in carotid arteries, can gradually evolve from a stable to an unstable lesion and ultimately rupture, causing an acute ischemic stroke. Several studies have shown that an early detection (<3 hours) of an acute ischemic stroke, followed by thrombolytic treatment, is associated with reduced mortality and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage.2 Consequently, there is a great need for biomarkers that can support clinicians to follow and predict the progression of carotid artery disease toward an unstable, rupture-prone lesion.3 Capturing high-risk individuals who could benefit from an intensified therapy (including a surgical intervention such as carotid endarterectomies) is of eminent importance.
See Article by Bazan et al
Noncoding RNAs can be secreted by cells in a tissue-specific manner, either via passive leakage or via incorporation into subcellular particles.4 Because of the reported stability and detectability in the peripheral blood, they have recently received a lot of attention as attractive biomarkers.5 MiRNAs, with a size of ≈20 nucleotides, are the best-studied group of noncoding RNAs in cardiovascular disease development and progression, both from the biomarker, as well as the therapeutic perspective.6
A more recent class of noncoding RNAs, circular RNA (circRNA), have emerged as promising biomarkers because of their intrinsic stability. …