Coronary atherosclerosis is the pathophysiologic background of coronary artery disease. Vascular calcification is an actively regulated form of calcified tissue metabolism and a common feature of coronary atherosclerotic plaques. Interestingly, systematic research has revealed that vascular mineralization, is also a strong and independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recently, several biomarkers, including osteopontin, fetuin-A, matrix-carboxyglutamic acid protein, pyrophosphates, bone morphogenetic proteins, leptin, osteoprotegerin have emerged as surrogate markers of coronary calcification. Furthermore, biomarkers of vascular calcification can be used as prognostic markers of coronary artery disease and can predict future cardiovascular events and mortality. Nevertheless, there is little knowledge on the usefulness of these biomarkers in evaluating the results of treatments targeting coronary artery disease. Within this context, the present review sets out to discuss the role of new biomarkers assessing calcium deposition in coronary arteries and their role in the prognosis, progression, and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Arterial function, Arterial stiffness, Atherosclerosis, Biomarkers, Bone metabolism, Calcium deposition, Calcium metabolism, Coronary artery disease, Coronary calcification, Inflammation, Vascular Calcification, Vulnerable plaque