The kynurenine (Kyn) pathway is the major route for tryptophan (Trp) metabolism, and it contributes to several fundamental biological processes. Trp is constitutively oxidized by tryptophan 2, 3-dioxygenase in liver cells. In other cell types, it is catalyzed by an alternative inducible indoleamine-pyrrole 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) under certain pathophysiological conditions, which consequently increases the formation of Kyn metabolites. IDO is up-regulated in response to inflammatory conditions as a novel marker of immune activation in early atherosclerosis. Besides, IDO and the IDO-related pathway are important mediators of the immunoinflammatory responses in advanced atherosclerosis. In particular, Kyn, 3-hydroxykynurenine, and quinolinic acid are positively associated with inflammation, oxidative stress (SOX), endothelial dysfunction, and carotid artery intima-media thickness values in end-stage renal disease patients. Moreover, IDO is a potential novel contributor to vessel relaxation and metabolism in systemic infections, which is also activated in acute severe heart attacks. The Kyn pathway plays a key role in the increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease by regulating inflammation, SOX, and immune activation.