Atherosclerosis and its complications represent the most frequent cause of death in the developed countries.
Pathophysiology of the atherosclerosis development has been described in details. Much less is known what is the
extent of reversibility of pathophysiological changes. Several angiographic studies háve proved that statin adminis-
tration can slow down the progression of the coronary arteries atherosclerosis. However, only intravascular ultrasound
analysis is able to give a detailed description of atherosclerotic plaque development during the treatment with statins.
Studies háve shown apparent stagnation of atherosclerosis progression and in voluminous plaques also signs of
regression. Beside changes in the size of atherosclerotic plaques, alteration in their chemical composition was
described. During the treatment with statins, amount of lipids in plaque decreases, which indicates the stabilisation
of plaques. Plaques are less prone to a rupture and to the subsequent development of an acute coronary syndrome.
Beside statins, which influence námely LDL cholesterol, attention is given to drugs enabling to elevate HDL
cholesterol level, because it is the way in which cholesterol is transported from tissues back to the liver. It appears
that elevation of HDL cholesterol level could bring about more effective regression of atherosclerotic plaques and
together with stagnation of the plaque progression it can significantly improve the conservative methods in the
treatment of atherosclerotic disease of the coronary and peripheral arterial systém
atherosclerosis, regression, statins, intravascular ultrasound analysis, HDL cholesterol