Table of Contents:
- What is the endothelium?
- What is the function of the endothelium?
- What are the pathologies that can affect the endothelium?
- Treatments for endothelial pathologies
- Which specialist treats endothelial disorders?
What is the endothelium?
The endothelium is an organ found inside veins, arteries and capillaries. It consists of a set of cells present in a layer that divides the blood tissues and has multiple functions: the main one is the regulation of the flow through changes in the tone and vascular diameter.
What is the function of the endothelium?
The endothelium is a fundamental organ in the process of vascular homeostasis, which seeks a balance between the vasodilator and vasoconstrictor states. In this way, it regulates the passage of fluids and cells to the tissues, controlling vascular tone, blood coagulation and the generation of new vessels.
- Vasomotor function:
The endothelium regulates systemic blood flow through changes in vascular tone and vessel diameter. Thus, the endothelial cell plays an important role when injury occurs or in anti-inflammatory processes.
- Barrier function:
The endothelium controls the movement of fluids in the blood circulation and in the tissues. It thus fulfills a selective barrier function and repairs tissue damage.
The endothelium is an organ found in the interior of veins, arteries and
inside veins, arteries and capillaries.
Pathologies that can affect the endothelium
The endothelium is involved in most medical pathologies. Endothelial dysfunction consists of a loss of balance between vasodilator and constrictor values. In this case, the vasoconstrictor level is higher, generating progressive pathophysiological consequences.
This vasoconstrictor state is characterized by being proinflammatory, procoagulant and prooxidant. Thus, endothelial dysfunction is implicated in multiple diseases: arteriosclerosis, sepsis, thrombosis, hemorrhage, arterial hypertension and vasculitis, among others.
The endothelium is one of the first defenses against atherosclerosis, but when there is endothelial cell dysfunction it is considered an initial event in the development of this pathology.
Treatment of endothelial dysfunction
There are several aspects that should be taken into account to prevent the development of endothelial dysfunction and, therefore, cardiovascular pathologies: smoking, aging, hypertension, dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia. In addition, a history of atherosclerosis and diabetes also play a role.
The main treatments are:
– Habit change: following a healthy lifestyle with respect to diet, smoking and physical exercise.
– Pharmacological treatment: seeks to improve vasodilation of the endothelium. They can be ACE inhibitors, hypocholesterolemics, antioxidants and estrogens.
Which specialist treats endothelial pathologies?
Hematology specialists are responsible for diagnosing endothelial dysfunction and Cardiology specialists are also involved in cases where cardiovascular disease develops.