The endothelium is a widely distributed organ system that plays an important role in health and disease. The endothelium is remarkably heterogeneous in structure and function. One vital function of the endothelium is to maintain blood in its fluid state, and to provide controlled haemostasis at sites of vascular injury. In keeping with the theme of endothelial cell heterogeneity, endothelial cells from different sites of the vascular employ different strategies to mediate local haemostatic balance. These differences are sufficient to explain why systemic imbalances of haemostatic components invariably lead to local thrombotic phenotypes. An important goal for the future is to identify diagnostic markers that reflect phenotypic changes at the level of individual vascular beds, and to develop therapies that target one or another site of the vasculature.
Keywords: Endothelium; haemostasis.