There can no longer be any doubt that the endothelium represents a very active tissue and is not, as had previously been thought, merely an inert lining material. On the contrary, the endothelium exerts a powerful influence on its environs through the release of multiple regulatory factors such as nitric oxide, endothelium derived hyperpolarizing factor and endothelin. It is therefore crucial to our understanding of the cardiovascular system that we are able to visualize the endothelial layer at the molecular level. Quantitative morphological studies permit visualization at this level, allowing the assessment of the changes that occur in the disease state. Modern methods of computerized image analysis have been applied to reconstruct the endothelial layer in three-dimensions - detecting even the most subtle of changes.
Within these covers, an integrated text has been gathered by experts in each of their fields. They detail the latest technical and conceptual advances in the visualization of endothelium, its production of regulatory molecules and pathological changes.