It has become clear that inflammation is an important component of coronary heart disease. Atherosclerotic disease usually begins with injury to endothelial cells. This injury can occur upon exposure to many injurious agents such as high levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and tobacco smoke as well as infectious agents. Once the injury occurs, lipoproteins and inflammatory cells are attracted to the area. Activated macrophages and T lymphocytes contribute to the inflammatory process and release cytokines into the circulation attracting further inflammatory cells to the area of injury. Many of these inflammatory cytokines can be measured in the plasma and correlate with both the extent of coronary disease and complications of the disease.