Research Topic

Sex differences in atherosclerotic plaque formation, vulnerability and cardiovascular events

About this Research Topic

There are clear and well-documented differences between women and men in the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, effects of therapy, and outcomes of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis is a complex multifactorial disease and sex-specific differences arise from exposure to sex hormones and genetic influences, leading to significant alteration of cellular function and metabolism, including sex-specific regulation of lipoprotein metabolism. These processes combine to alter atherosclerotic plaque size, plaque distribution, plaque composition and rupture/erosion risk in a sex and age-dependent manner. Furthermore, women more often exhibit non-obstructive coronary disease, which is associated with coronary microvasculature abnormalities. Concomitant with this are sex-related physiological and biomechanical differences caused by subtle differences in cardiovascular anatomy and structure. Biomechanical forces, such as the blood flow induced shear stress, are recognized for their involvement in endothelial function and thereby contribute to plaque formation, progression and destabilization. In addition, stress in the vessel wall because of high blood pressure are mainly responsible for plaque rupture. The frequency of plaque rupture and erosion, the two main contributors to acute coronary syndromes, also demonstrated an age and sex-dependent frequency in manifestation, underlining the cumulative effects of genetic, hormonal and lifestyle effects of sex and gender.

We are interested in manuscripts that describe the effects of sex and gender on the pathophysiological processes that lead to plaque formation and destabilization that leads to cardiovascular events, including differential responses to biomechanical forces and lifestyle exposures. We are also interested in studies that visualize the differences in plaque composition using (non)-invasive imaging technology.

We welcome basic science, translational and clinical original research, reviews, new methodology papers and systematic reviews/meta-analyses on these topics.


Keywords: Sex, Atherosclerosis, Plaque vulnerability, Cardiovascular events


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

There are clear and well-documented differences between women and men in the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, effects of therapy, and outcomes of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis is a complex multifactorial disease and sex-specific differences arise from exposure to sex hormones and genetic influences, leading to significant alteration of cellular function and metabolism, including sex-specific regulation of lipoprotein metabolism. These processes combine to alter atherosclerotic plaque size, plaque distribution, plaque composition and rupture/erosion risk in a sex and age-dependent manner. Furthermore, women more often exhibit non-obstructive coronary disease, which is associated with coronary microvasculature abnormalities. Concomitant with this are sex-related physiological and biomechanical differences caused by subtle differences in cardiovascular anatomy and structure. Biomechanical forces, such as the blood flow induced shear stress, are recognized for their involvement in endothelial function and thereby contribute to plaque formation, progression and destabilization. In addition, stress in the vessel wall because of high blood pressure are mainly responsible for plaque rupture. The frequency of plaque rupture and erosion, the two main contributors to acute coronary syndromes, also demonstrated an age and sex-dependent frequency in manifestation, underlining the cumulative effects of genetic, hormonal and lifestyle effects of sex and gender.

We are interested in manuscripts that describe the effects of sex and gender on the pathophysiological processes that lead to plaque formation and destabilization that leads to cardiovascular events, including differential responses to biomechanical forces and lifestyle exposures. We are also interested in studies that visualize the differences in plaque composition using (non)-invasive imaging technology.

We welcome basic science, translational and clinical original research, reviews, new methodology papers and systematic reviews/meta-analyses on these topics.


Keywords: Sex, Atherosclerosis, Plaque vulnerability, Cardiovascular events


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

23 May 2021 Abstract
20 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

23 May 2021 Abstract
20 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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