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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 148413, 4 pages
Review Article

Atherosclerosis: An Integrative East-West Medicine Perspective

Cardiovascular Diseases Center, Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100091, China

Received 16 October 2011; Accepted 24 January 2012

Academic Editor: Myeong Soo Lee

Copyright © 2012 Hao Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent understanding of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease has shifted the focus from lumen stenosis to vulnerable plaque, from lipid deposit to inflammatory reaction, and from vulnerable plaque to vulnerable patient. This has led to a new direction of treatment consisting of intervening the inflammatory reaction, stabilizing the vulnerable plaque, inhibiting thrombosis after plaque rupture, and treating the vulnerable patient instead of treating lumen stenosis. This seems to mirror the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) focus on prevention and on the vulnerable patient with treatment matched to the pattern dysfunction and dysregulation using the Chinese herbal medicine multitargeted approach. Given the convergence of both the East and the West conceptualization of atherosclerosis, it is hopeful that the integrative East-West approach will facilitate early detection and more effective treatment of the vulnerable patients with coronary heart disease.