Vascular Effects of Maternal Alcohol Consumption

What are the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy on the mother’s cardiovascular system? The simple answer is that we are still trying to find out. Research has long focused on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but little research has been done on the effects of both acute and chronic alcohol consumption on the maternal circulation that might contribute to pregnancy disorders such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes and to long term effects on the offspring. For a review of this emerging field, listen to our latest podcast as Associate Editor Nancy Kanagy interviews lead author Jayanth Ramadoss (University of Texas Medical Branch) and expert William Mayhan (LSU Health Sciences Center) about the recent review by Ramadoss and Magness.

Jayanth Ramadoss and Ronald R. Magness Vascular effects of maternal alcohol consumption Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published online June 22, 2012, doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00127.2012.

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Microcalcifications in Vulnerable Plaque Rupture

What are the actual mechanisms of plaque rupture? How can we integrate the new findings by Maldonado et al in the context of a threshold for rupture of vulnerable plaque? In this podcast, Associate Editor Ivor Benjamin interviews senior author Sheldon Weinbaum (The City College of the City University of New York) and leading expert Linda Demer (UCLA School of Medicine) about the work by Weinbaum and colleagues on coronary artery calcification and the use of microCT to identify microcalcifications. Are microcalcifications the "smoking gun" for triggering inflammation-induced atherosclerosis? Listen now.

Natalia Maldonado, Adreanne Kelly-Arnold, Yuliya Vengrenyuk, Damien Laudier, John T Fallon, Renu Virmani, Luis Cardoso, and Sheldon Weinbaum A mechanistic analysis of the role of microcalcifications in atherosclerotic plaque stability - potential implications for plaque rupture Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published online July 9, 2012, doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00036.2012.

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