Atherosclerosis which accounts in Western Europe for more than 40 % of deaths, is a generalized disease that develops slowly and is symptomless until lesions have become sufficiently severe to cause myocardial or cerebral infarction. Research on specific and precocious markers of atherosclerosis and the development of non invasive techniques for their early detection represent major challenges in biomedical field. We hope that this volume of edited papers, a consequence of the third international colloquium on atherosclerosis, conducted at the University of Brussels, Belgium through the support of the "Fondation de Recherche sur l' AtherosclE,rose" will contribute to this goal. Among the topics discussed the major ones were the mechanism of action of lipolytic enzymes, the deficiency or dysregulation of cellular receptors, the genetic deficiencies of apolipoproteins, and the panoply of external factors as diet, physical exercise, drugs, which mOdify the lipoprotein metabolism. Special interest was also devoted to potent techniques as kinetic analysis of metabolic tracers and use of monoclonal antibodies. Their contribution to the detection and treatment of atherosclerosis will be obviously essential in the future.